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With adaptation to COVID 19, Metrowest Detachment #1037 observed the 245th Marine Corps Birthday

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

November Meeting Notes: 

The November meeting was convened at 7:10 with 14 members in attendance.  The roll call of officers was conducted with all officers present, with the exception of the Judge Advocate.  Minutes of the last meeting were read and accepted by vote.  The report of the Paymaster was read and acceptance was completed by vote.

New Member:

A new member, Matthew Wescott was proposed for membership.  Matthew is a Roman Catholic Chaplain at 25th Marines, headquartered at Fort Devens.  Prior to his current service , Rev Wescott served as an enlisted Marine, with service on overseas combat deployments.  We welcome Matthew to the detachment.

Marine Corps Birthday observation:

Commandant Blanchette suspended the normal conduct of the meeting in order that attendees could observe a belated celebration of the 245th Marine Corps Birthday.  The messages from the current Commandant of the Marine Corps and the message from General LeJeune were read as is customary.  Commandant Blanchette cut the cake and the tradition of the oldest Marine serving the youngest Marine and vice versa was conducted.  After a period of social interaction, the meeting was reconvened for the conduct of business.

Correspondence:

A request for donation was received from Fisher House, an organization that provides family services for the local VA hospital.
A request for donation was received from the Semper Fi - America's Fund, which is a national organization providing support to wounded service members and their families.

Committee Reports:

The Toys for Tots program has begun and will continue until 10 December.  Delivery of pods to Natick and Sudbury have not yet been made but are anticipated.  Supplies are available in Holliston at the Police Station.  It was noted the numerous locations have limited access due to COVID precautions.  It is anticipated that there will be a resultant reduction in toys received.  

The annual Natick Toys for Tots kickoff event is still tenuous due to COVID limitations.

New Business:

Motions were made, seconded, and approved to contribute to the Fisher House and the the Semper Fi-America's Fund.  Each of these are charities that we have supported in the past.

A request was made to make a donation to support the Natick Veterans Council family support programs to help offset reduced contributions brought on by COVID.  Motion was made, seconded, and approved by vote to contribute.

Good of the League:

Warren Griffin explained that the VA Bingo has not been operating due to COVID.  Funds that had been allocated to that activity have been redirected to purchase sweat suits and socks for patients who are in need.  

The meeting was adjourned in the proper fashion at 8:15.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 15 at 7:00 PM.  Members are encouraged to attend.




Saturday, October 24, 2020

October Meeting notes:

The scheduled October meeting was convened at 7:00 PM by Commandant Blanchette at the Natick Amvets.  Masks and social distancing were encouraged for attendees due to ongoing COVID concerns.  A total of 14 were in attendance.
The roll call of officers was conducted with all officers being present.  The minutes of the prior meeting were read and accepted by vote.   The Chaplain reported no members sick or in distress.  No officers had additional information to report.

Correspondence:

Mailing was received informing that the detachment IRS status needs to be updated.  This topic was later discussed.  
Donations in response to solicitation of golf tournament participants have been received.  A total of $425 has been received from golf teams who are contributing to offset the fact that the tournament had to be cancelled this year.
Notice has been sent to members/former members to encourage them to renew and get up to date on dues.

Paymaster Report:

Commandant Blanchette reported the detachment financial status as the Paymaster position is still open.  The detachment is in good financial shape to meet the current and pending initiatives.

Unfinished Business:

There was discussion of producing multiple copies of a previously prepared tri-fold brochure to be used as a tool for recruitment.  The costs for production in color vs. black and white will be checked and the potential to have it printed at the local technical high school were discussed.   Next actions will be decided when costs potential costs are known.

Since the passing of Bill Costello, the position of Paymaster has been open.  The Commandant has been managing the accounts on an interim basis.  Warren Griffin proposed Paul Carew as a candidate to fill this slot.  Judge Advocate MacEntegart pointed out that the by-laws spell out a specific process for soliciting nominations.  As it is necessary per by-laws to have two officers involved in managing accounts, it was moved that election be changed to the soonest possible date with the intent of electing and installing a full complement of officers in the proper fashion.  Available of willing members is an issue that was discussed. 

Due to the vacancy in the Paymaster role, the detachment has been delayed in filing for the needed tax status.  To avoid going through the full process again, there was discussion the form will be filed expeditiously in what is believed to be a grace period.

New Business:

Motion was made to contribute $100 to the Turkeys for Veterans Program of the Amvets.  After discussion the motion was amended to $200 and passed by vote.

Motion was made to approve funding of production for 13 ribbons for the detachment guidon to recognize deceased members, as has been past practice.

Veterans Day activities in Bellingham and Framingham were discussed.  Framingham will have a drive by event and virtual event due to COVID.  Bellingham will hold ceremonies on the town common at 11:00 on Veterans Day.

There was discussion about how to observe the Marine Corps Birthday within the restrictions of COVID prevention.  Alternatives included having a celebration on 10 November in addition to or in lieu of the scheduled November meeting.

Announcements:

Richard Douglas announced that Toys for Tots pods are to be delivered on 15 November to the Natick Elks and the Holliston Police Dept.
Details of the Natick Tree lighting event, associated with Toys for Tots, will be announced. 
The planned burger burn at Fort Devens was not conducted due to concerns about COVID and compliance with food service requirements.

The meeting was adjourned in the proper fashion at 7:50 PM.  Members are encouraged to attend the next scheduled meeting at 7:00 Pm at the Natick Amvets.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

 Live Again (For Now)

With continuing awareness of COVID safety steps, the Metrowest Detachment returned to live meetings for the scheduled September Meeting.  Commandant Jerry Blanchette brought the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with 12 members in attendance.  Roll call off officers was conducted.  Senior Vice Commandant Gentes was absent due to schedule conflict.  

The Paymaster report was submitted by interim Paymaster Blanchette.  Motion was made to accept the report as read and motion was seconded and approved by vote.  No other reports from officers were submitted.

Rest in Peace :  Detachment Deaths:

The detachment is saddened by the death of a number of stalwart members.  In recent months we have lost George Vouros who served as a Corpsman during WWII, including service at Iwo Jima.  Long time member and detachment mainstay John Crisafulli passed away during the summer.  John returned from service in Korea where he earned the Bronze Star to complete an impressive career as a educator, academic administrator, and active Natick citizen.  John held leadership roles in the detachment and was a steady presence at all events  William Costello served in the period of WWII and returned to pursue a career as a technology developer and entrepreneur.    Bill drew on his business skills as the detachment Paymaster for a number of years and was active in a number of detachment initiatives.  Wally Walsh was a long time member who had been active while his health permitted.  We continue to keep these members in our thought and prayers and acknowledge their service to their country.

Old Corps/New Corps:

Associate member Chip Fagan announced that his son has joined the Marine Corps and will soon report to Parris Island.  A former award winning member of the Blackstone Valley Young Marines, Private Fagan will soon join the brotherhood of Marines. If conditions permit, the detachment will look forward to attending graduation at Parris Island.

2020 Toys for Tots:

Planning for the Toys for Tots Program for this year is ongoing.  Detachment Coordinator Richard Douglas is attending meetings and he and Chip Fagan will again lead the detachment efforts.  FOR a umber of years, the Metrowest Detachment has been a leading contributor to this holiday program that has it roots in Marine Corps Reserve activities in the 1940's.


The meeting was adjourned in the proper fashion and member are encouraged to attend the next scheduled meeting at 7:00PM on October 20 at the Natick AMVETS on Superior Drive.  Current and former Marines, FMF Corpsmen and Chaplains are welcome to attend and encouraged to join.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Notice:

For nineteen years, the Metrowest Detachment has conducted a golf tournament that has been the primary fundraiser for our charitable outreach.  One key to the success of this event has been the support of local merchants and service providers who have contributed via advertising, donations, and sponsorships.  Recognizing that these dedicated supporters are either unable to conduct business at all, or facing greatly reduced business, we believe that it would be unfair and inappropriate to solicit financial support at this time.  With continued gratitude to our supporters, the detachment leadership has voted to suspend the golf tournament for this year.  We encourage everyone to continue to consider these vendors when you make your purchasing decisions.

The other key to the success of the tournament has been the players.  Many golfers have played in this tournament since it began.  Through raffle tickets, auction donations, and buying "mulligans" they have provided outstanding support.  Regrettably, we do not anticipate coming together for a day of golf and festivity this year.  As the situation evolves, we will provide updates.  We appreciate the many years of golf and good times that you have shared with us.

April Meeting Notes:

In compliance with existing Coronavirus restrictions, a meeting was held using the Zoom platform.  With the agreement of the current leadership team, the decision was made to continue the coming year with the current team as the detachment is unable to hold the preferred in-person nominations and elections

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Impact:

To comply with the restrictions put in place to lessen the impact of the Coronavirus,  Metrowest Detachment #1037 did not meet in March.  We will evaluate future meetings and events as the situation develops.  We are hopeful that the Golf Tournament scheduled for August will take place as planned.  Sponsors and players who have questions or concerns can contact Dave Gentes at davegentes@comcast.net.  We hope that you and yours are staying healthy and safe.

Friday, February 21, 2020

February Meeting Notes:

Commandant Blanchette called the meeting to order with 12 members present.  All officers were present for roll call.  No officers had any new information to report.

Report of the Paymaster:

Paymaster Costello reported that the detachment continues to be fiscally sound.  CD's have been renewed for a short term.  Checking and savings accounts are in good shape.

Report of the Chaplain:

Chaplain Whalen reported no current members or families sick or in distress.   It was discussed that Paul Carew continues to have foot issues.  The Chaplain will send him a card.

Committee Reports:

Golf Committee Chair Hastings reported that the tournament for this year is in the planning stages and the contract has been received for signature.  It is a good time for members to begin  soliciting ads and prizes.  Player solicitations will go out in April.  This will be the 20th annual event.

Al Schiff provided an update on activity with the Boy Scouts.  A flag will be provided to Eagle Scouts in addition to the payment that is currently made.

New Business:

Jim Hastings reported that 25th Marines is interested in a cookout at their March reserve weekend,  Discussion continued about the condition of the current grill and ideas were discussed about the purchase of a replacement.  The state MCL has agreed to support this purchase.

Observation of Iwo Jima Day will be at the State House on 19 February.   It is anticipated that this will be one of the larger events.  The general in charge of USMC plans will be the speaker.   Robert Kraft is to receive an award.  

The MCL state convention will be held in Hyannis in June.  The detachment will provide the gear for an honor guard.  Members are encouraged to atend.

The City of Boston will hold a Viet Nam veterans parade on March 30, followed by a service at the State House.

The MA state MCL will host a cookout and recruitment event at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club in July.  Information sheets were distributed.  

It was announced that nominations for officers will be made at the March meeting.  All are encouraged to consider taking on an active role as an officer.

It was proposed and approved by vote to donate $100 to the marathon runner who will be running to support the Hopkinton Veterans Services.


There being no further business, the meting was adjourned at 8:15.  The next meeting will be on March 17 at 1900 at the Natick AMVETS.











Friday, December 27, 2019

Meeting Notes:

Due to inclement weather, the December meeting was cancelled.  The Detachment leadership wishes all members and supporters the best of the season and a happy new year.  

Toys for Tots:

The Toys for Tots campaign was completed successfully.  The detachment has filled a number of  pods and was active in the Natick Christmas Tree lighting as a way to kick off the Toys for Tots Campaign.   This annual drive is a fine opportunity to give back to the community.  The Metrowest Detachment has been a leader in this effort for many years.

25th Marines Burger Burn:

A stalwart group traveled to Fort Devens to provide a cookout for the 25th Marines stationed at Fort Devens for their reserve duty.  Overcoming cold weather and a balky grill, the chefs provided food for over 150 Marines.   The detachments members and state officers who attended were appreciated for their efforts.

Boy Scout Support: 

Junior Vice Commandant Jim Hastings presented a certificate of achievement to a recently installed Eagle Scout.   The detachment awards a certificate and a check for $100 to local Eagle Scouts.  Member Al Schiff is the coordinator of this program and works closely with area Boy Scout Troops.




Meetings will resume in January on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM at the Natick AMVETS at 1 Superior Drive.  Members are encouraged to attend.  Upcoming meetings are January 21, February 18, and March 24.