Legion Commander Terry Harkenreader and Wayne Gregory, above, present a Blue Star flag to Roxanne Condon, Oneonta, in honor of her son Leaf Ericson, who is serving as a foreman in the Navy, as part of the Blue Star Ceremony. Six area families were honored this evening at Oneonta’s American Legion Post 259. Originally started in 1917, the Blue Star Ceremony presents families with children serving in a branch of the military with an honorary flag to hang in their window. The tradition fell out of fashion during the Vietnam era, but has been regaining in popularity in recent years. This is the first time the Oneonta Legion has taken part in the ceremony. Inset at right, Ericka Ericson, Kim Lindberg and Lois Proctor listen as Gregory reads the history of the Blue Star flag. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
BRETT REISTAD, LEE SMITH ON HAND
American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad of Manassas, Va., top photo, heralds the long relationship between the National Baseball Hall of Fame and American Legion Baseball in kicking off at two-day commemoration of the Legion’s 100th anniversary this morning at 25 Main St. Hall of Famer Lee Smith, left, who will be inducted July 21, delivered remarks. Among Legion dignitaries were New York Department Commander Gary Schacher, right, and Regional Commander Paul I. Spedaliere, Lebanon, Conn., behind Reistad. Inset, Schacher presents a souvenir bat from Cooperstown Bat Co. to Scott Mondore, the Hall’s director of marketing and an Army vet, who helped organized this weekend’s activities. Hall VP/Communications Jon Shostakovsky noted that 81 Hall of Famers participated in Legion Baseball. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
COOPERSTOWN – The American Legion, especially through American Legion Baseball, and The National Baseball Hall of have had a special relationship for over four decades.
“American Legion Baseball was founded in 1925 to further citizenship through sportsmanship,” said Jeremy Field, director of communication at American Legion’s HQ in Indianapolis. “Every year our player of the year is honored at the Hall of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field.”
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Former county rep Len Carson confirmed a few minutes ago he is planning to run for Common Council this fall to represent Ward 5 in the city’s west end.
A Republican, he said he has spoken with the current Council member, Democrat Dana Levinson, who told him she isn’t planning to seek another term. All Common Council positions are up for reelection in November.
“You know me,” he said. “I’m not into the ‘D’ and the ‘R’ and the ‘C.’ We need to have a leader, the mayor, and representatives of the wards working together to do the good work that needs to be done. Party politics don’t work at the local level. We need good people.”
Oneonta’s Mark Spaziani, Rick Rogers and Ross Rogers – The Roundhouse Rockers – gave an evening of live music started this afternoon at the second annual Play It Forward event at the Oneonta Vets Club. This seven-hour jam session features live music, a chicken BBQ and raffles, with 100 percent of all funds donated to the American Legion Legacy Run. At right, Oneonta native Sandy Ross shares a kiss on the dance floor with her new husband Robb; the two married this morning. The couple, who flew up from Florida, co-created the event with Sandy’s sister Carla Balnis, and in lieu of a reception, decided to invite family and friends to attend the event and donate to the cause. Musicians from Florida, NYC, Utica and Oneonta will keep you rocking until 10 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The American Legion and Kiwanis Club held their second annual Christmas Party this afternoon in the ballroom of the American Legion in Oneonta. Children and their families were treated lunch, cookies, and of course free photos with Santa Claus by Jamie Novick Photography. Above, Santa made sure each child he met with received a present. Here, Zachary Stall, Oneonta, receives his gift, while Cindy Cecil, Oneonta keeps a grip on her grandson Michael Phillips, who is enamored with the jolly old Elf upon his arrival. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)