In recognition of our nation’s independence, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and the Town of Hempstead today held a patriotic “Salute to Veterans” at Town Park Point Lookout, thanking veterans for their service in preserving America’s freedom and democracy. Santino presented the town’s prestigious Veterans Service Award to six veterans and recognized a civilian volunteer during the event. The evening’s festivities also included a concert and fireworks display.
“The Town of Hempstead Veterans Service Award is presented to vets who have dedicated their lives to helping fellow veterans in their time of need,” stated Santino. “It is my honor and privilege to recognize these outstanding men and women for everything they do in the veterans community.”
The 2016 recipients of the Veterans Service Award are Raul Lopez of Uniondale, Pete Wenninger of Westbury, Barry Ringelheim of Atlantic Beach, Bill Davison of Oceanside, Kevin Tirman of Freeport and Richard Wendelken of Wantagh. Mary Lou Peterkin received the Veterans Volunteer Service Award.
The seven honorees were selected by the Town of Hempstead’s Veterans Advisory Committee – Pat Yngstrom, Frank Colon, Bill Ost, Robert Schatz, Tami Ellinport and Rick Gales – which chose each honoree based upon their service to other veterans. The committee gathered information and endorsements from veterans’ organizations throughout the township.
The town also welcomed many distinguished color guard units, including the Nassau County American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary, Nassau County Council Veterans of Foreign Wars (Levittown VFW Post 9592), East Rockaway VFW Post 3350, Korean War Veterans Association Nassau County Post Chapter 1, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82, Vietnam War Veterans Association, AmVets American Veterans Memorial Post 88 and the 11th New York Regiment of the United States Volunteers.
Also attending was the Hempstead Plains Vintage Car Club, which provided an array of vintage vehicles.
Supervisor Santino also thanked the many local businesses that helped make the event possible, particularly the pre-ceremony veterans reception. Sponsors included Swingbellys Beachside BBQ (event sponsor), Chicken Carnival, Naturally Boulder Artesian Water, Dover Caterers, Key Food of Long Beach and Entenmann’s Family Bakery of East Meadow.
The Salute to Veterans event was immediately followed by a concert by Abbamania and Night Fever, two tribute acts that perform the music of Abba and the BeeGees respectively. The evening’s festivities concluded with a remarkable fireworks show.
Concluded Santino, “Thank you to all of our veterans for helping to preserve all that we hold dear in America, and for making the Town of Hempstead such a great place in which to live, work and raise a family.”