County clerk and Erie County veterans to raise funds before Blue Jays home stand against Yankees
Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and The Veterans Post Restoration of Erie County NY Inc., a not-for-profit comprised of American Legion, AMVETS, Marine Corps League and VFW posts throughout Erie County, announced they are again working collaboratively to upgrade handicapped-accessibility and other much-needed repairs at the posts.
Between 4-7 p.m. June 15-17 – prior to the Blue Jays games – Kearns, veterans and volunteers will be stationed near the corner of Ellicott and Swan streets, directly across from the Swan Street gate at Sahlen Field. They will request a $1 donation for American flag cutouts. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward the veterans post restoration fund.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the veterans were humbly raising money by selling paper flags for a dollar each at the Erie County auto bureaus,” Kearns said. “We are relaunching our ‘Pledge for the Posts’ efforts in order to meet the fundraising goal to complete these vital projects.”
The “Pledge for the Posts” initiative is supported by area businesses and individuals including BankOnBuffalo, Buffalo Bisons, Ellicott Development, Russell J. Salvatore, Colvin Cleaners and Billoni Associates.
“BankOnBuffalo is very proud to join Mickey Kearns, the veterans post restoration fund and other supporting organizations and businesses in helping to make these posts safer and more accessible for all veterans in appreciation for their service,” said Martin T. Griffith, BankOnBuffalo president. “We hope our monetary support today will spur others in the business community to step up and participate in this ‘Pledge for the Posts’ fundraiser as a way to honor and thank those men and women for their sacrifice and courage in protecting our freedom.”
The goal of the veterans restoration project is to repair and upgrade theses posts in order to pass them down to the next generation of veterans. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following posts had major improvements: F.J. Donovan American Legion Post 1626 in Cheektowaga, Frank L. Gierlach American Legion Post 1320 in Sloan, American Legion Post 735 in West Seneca, and AMVETS the 40&8 in Buffalo. The committee has several other local posts in need of immediate upgrades, especially making restrooms handicapped-accessible.
Kearns and the Buffalo Bisons have established a connection when it comes to supporting veterans, including hosting a Bison’s “Thank-A-Vet” Day at the ballpark. In an effort to continue that partnership, the Buffalo Bison’s will donate 20% of their net online sales for all camo gear sold through www.Bisons.com to The Veterans Post Restoration of Erie County NY. In addition, Mike Billoni, former general manager of the Bisons, will donate $10 from every copy sold of his book “The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball – 1857-2020” purchased through Bisons.com.
Jerry Kowalski, a board member for The Veterans Post Restoration of Erie County, NY, said, “The reason I am committed to this project is because all of these posts were built in the ’50s and ’60s by the veterans of the greatest generation. I feel that it is my duty to honor them by keeping the memorial posts they built here open. Not only for them but for all that follow them.”