Giving Back

Ladies Auxiliary Spreads Sunshine to Veterans from the Menlo Park Veterans Home

4ef12a94015d0a335e9c_vets1.JPG
Residents from the Menlo Park Veterans Home get set to enjoy dinner courtesy of the American Legion Post #253. Credits: Dawn Miller
33956e4cc35d4b691c96_vets2.JPG
Roy Bredt receives assistance as he arrives at the American Legion Post #253 in Spotswood for dinner. Credits: Dawn Miller
ef72ff5999e28d600cfc_vets3.JPG
Veterans from the Menlo Park Veterans Home chat while waiting for the first course at the Friday night Fish Fry. Credits: Dawn Miller
4ef12a94015d0a335e9c_vets1.JPG

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The American Legion Post #253 hosts Friday night Fish Fry's throughout Lent. Catholics typically avoid eating meat on Fridays during the season of Lent. The Fish Fry is a popular fundraiser that many folks take advantage of, either eating in or phoning ahead and taking out. However, yesterday's weekly evening meal took on a slightly different flavor as the American Legion's Ladies Auxiliary entertained some very special guests.

Fifteen residents from the Menlo Park Veterans Home in Edison were invited for dinner courtesy of the organization. The Menlo Park Veterans Home provides a residence as well as care for veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents.

For Arlene Baum, the Secretary and Treasurer of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post #253, the endeavor is a labor of love as well as a family affair. Baum's husband, Bill, is the Commander of the post, so he was of course on hand assisting veterans as they disembarked from their buses as well as helping wherever he was needed. Her two grown daughters also took time off from their Friday evening to stop by an give a hand.

Sign Up for E-News

"They've done so much for us," Baum said of the veterans. "It's the least we can do."

Baum explained that the Ladies Auxiliary hosts events for residents of the Menlo Park Veterans Home throughout the year including the Fish Fry, an annual holiday party, a spring event, which this year will be a Spring Fling, as well as two summer-themed activities designed to get the vets outside to enjoy the warm weather.

Last summer, Crystal Habib, the Junior Vice-President who is also in charge of fundraising, organized an outing to a Somerset Patriots Game.

Tables were set for the night's special guests as the ladies waited for their arrival that was late due to traffic and bus difficulties. The home's larger bus is in need of repair, but the residence lacks the funding to fix it. Residents arrived in two smaller transports, one of which was purchased through fundraising efforts by the American Legion.

Each table was set with a tablecloth and welcoming decorations. The veterans "get it all" from a complete four-course dinner on china to dessert with coffee or tea.

Baum explained that they always use the china when the veterans visit since it gives them an extra special touch. She commented about being moved to tears by a past participant of an event that thanked her for that small touch. He remarked how much he enjoyed not having to eat a meal on paper plates.

Visitors from the Menlo Park Veterans Home past and present definitely appreciate those small touches the Ladies Auxiliary takes the time to give. Menlo Park Veteran Home resident Roy Bredt spoke highly of the ladies as well as the events held at the American Legion Post #253.

"I love it here," Bredt said with a twinkle in his eye. "The people are friendly. The food is always good and the people bend over backwards to help you, even more than necessary."

Bredt explained that each month at the residence, the residents are asked to pick three activities to sign up for. He said that he always makes sure to choose any event held at the Spotswood American Legion Post #253.

"When I see it, I pick it," Bredt added with a grin. "I like the atmosphere."

In addition to speading sunshine and cheer to residents at the Menlo Park Veterans Home, the Ladies Auxiliary also offers a helping hand to active soldiers as well, putting together care packages througout the year for men and women from the area serving in the military.

Residents interested in contributing to the care packages can donate non-perishable foods, toiletries and other much-appreciated items like books, DVD's, batteries and magazines.

A drop box is located at the American Legion Post #253 on Devoe Avenue and is available on weekdays from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. to drop off donations as well as on weekends from noon until 10 p.m. Interested residents can also telephone 732-991-9507 to arrange a pick up.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

Editor of East Brunswick Sentinel Charged with Child Pornography Possession

April 18, 2018

CHERRY HILL, NJ -  The Editor-in-Chief of The East Brunswick Sentinel, The North Brunswick Sentinel, and The Cranbury Press  has been charged with possession of child pornography following a legal search of his home yesterday.

Timothy Ronaldson, 35, of Cherry Hill, has been charged with Possession of Child Pornography, according to Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and ...

Whitehouse Wind Symphony Presents Free Concert in Somerville

April 18, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley, Jr., will present a free concert on Sunday, April 29th at 3 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 158 West High St.

The concert will feature a wide range of selections from wind band literature both new and old, such as the overture to “Die Frau ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Wild Kratts

Sat, April 21, 8:00 AM

White house at Aldersgate UM Church, East Brunswick

RUMMAGE SALE to Benefit the Food Bank

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Promise Garden, New Brunswick

Earth Day Fest

Arts & Entertainment

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 6, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Time to Get Rid of Expired, Unused, and Unwanted Prescription Drugs

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. many local agencies will team-up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to give the public its 15th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no ...

Travels Spotlight - New Brunswick Ciclovia opens 2018 Season

April 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK  – New Brunswick Ciclovia will open its 2018 season on Sunday, April 22 for another fun day of open streets and active living for all. 

Now in its fifth year, New Brunswick Ciclovia is a family-friendly event that emphasizes healthy living and community building by opening our streets and offering programming for all to enjoy. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., more ...

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

The German Girl

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 2016)

For each of the twelve million victims murdered during World War II there is a gutwrenching story to be told. I have read hundreds of memoirs, biographies, plays, and novels that recount the stories of the martyrs; some are exceptional, some are fair. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa, an award-winning journalist, ...