Donate yarn, keep a veteran warm this winter
by Ed Wendell
May 14, 2019 | 753 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Janet Chan-Smith (left) and Marie Hall of American Legion Auxiliary Post 118 are leading the effort to make at least 75 lap blankets for those living at the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans.
Janet Chan-Smith (left) and Marie Hall of American Legion Auxiliary Post 118 are leading the effort to make at least 75 lap blankets for those living at the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans.
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The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society is teaming up with Neir’s Tavern to collect donations for the Woodhaven Post 118 Auxiliary.
The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society is teaming up with Neir’s Tavern to collect donations for the Woodhaven Post 118 Auxiliary.
slideshow
At the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans, you’ll find many men and even a few women who served our country in their youth.

And the American Legion Auxiliary Post 118 in Woodhaven is in the middle of an ambitious effort to make lap blankets for all of them by next winter

“We’re looking to make at least 75 lap blankets,” said auxiliary member Janet Chan-Smith. “We’ll not only keep them warm, but we’ll be letting them know we honor and appreciate their service.”

Making that many lap blankets takes a lot of yarn, and the auxiliary spread the word and started getting donations from friends.

“It was wonderful,” said Marie Hall. “People were donating their leftover yarn and we are turning it into nice blankets for the vets.”

However, to pull this off they were going to need a lot more yarn than even their friends can provide. And so the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society is teaming up with Neir’s Tavern to collect donations to help auxiliary members in their efforts to keep our veterans warm this winter.

To donate, please drop off four-ply knitted, worsted yarn at Neir’s Tavern or at any Woodhaven Historical Society event during the month of May.

In honor of Memorial Day and our veterans, we are asking for donations of red, white or blue yarn to make sure they have enough of each color to work with. If you donate any other color, please make sure you donate enough to make a blanket.

One event you can donate at is the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society’s presentation at Neir’s Tavern on Wednesday, May 22, entitled “Woodhaven At War,” a look at what life was like in our community during several wars in our country’s history.

There will be a lot of interesting stories, some great old photographs, and we’ll also look at the different war memorials around Woodhaven. Most of them you are aware of, but there may be a few others that will be new to you.

The presentation starts at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. We’ll be handing the yarn we collect that night. If you don’t feel like shopping for yarn, you can make a cash donation and we’ll buy it in bulk.

If you do feel like buying yarn yourself, consider shopping at Cook’s Craft, at 80-09 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale. It’s a great little shop, right across the park from us, and if you tell the owner Michelle why you’re buying it, she’ll give you a 10 percent discount.

There will be a few opportunities to observe Memorial Day later this month. The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation will hold its annual Memorial Day Observance at Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue on Thursday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m.

American Legion Post 118 will host a Memorial Day observance outside the post headquarters on 91st Street and 89th Avenue. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 27, and is followed up by a gathering in the post’s basement for refreshments).

One truly striking part of the Legion’s ceremony is the Garden of Remembrance erected by Franklin K. Lane’s ROTC every year.

A “cemetery in miniature,” the frontyard of Post 118 is covered in white markers, not only for those killed in action, but also representing members of the post who have passed on.

This enduring tradition is over 70 years old and is one of the most beautiful Memorial Day tributes around. It should be up by this weekend through the end of the month, be sure to take a few moments to see it.

To many, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend and a great day to break out the barbecue, but we should always remember those who put their lives at risk for our country.

Some of them leave home for long stretches at a time, away from their friends and families. Most come back, but some do not. It is for those souls that we gather, remember and pray.

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