By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR April 30, 2004 A few months ago, a group of people from Livingston Manor held a fundraiser at Kings Catering to benefit the USO and the brave men and women serving in our nations armed forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world.
The event raised about $2,500 for the USO.
But as the fighting has intensified this spring, the same group of people decided they want to do more.
Leading those volunteer efforts are Judy Melchick, Craig Sherwood and Dave and Erika Barth. Melchick, who is the head cashier at Pecks Market in Livingston Manor, has also brought Pecks Market, Inc. which owns the market in the Manor as well as stores in Callicoon, Eldred, Jeffersonville and Narrowsburg on board for the fundraising effort.
The group recently contacted Kenny Cogswell, the Pro Shop Manager at Grossingers Big G Golf Course in Liberty about holding a fundraising golf tournament at the course later this spring. They also wanted to hold another fundraiser at Kings Catering in Manor that same day.
As it turned out, the day that worked out best for all involved parties is Sunday, June 6. That day marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day, when U.S. troops and other allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy, France in 1944 in what became one of the most pivotal battles of World War II.
The golf tournament, which is limited to about 100 golfers, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Big G. Then from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the fundraiser will continue at Kings with food, drinks, raffles and music by DJ Jim.
While the golf tournament is limited by the number of players, the evening at Kings is open to the general public. For a $10 donation, each person will be able to enjoy the evening of fun, food, prizes and dancing.
M & M Ford Auto Group of Liberty is sponsoring a hole-in-one prize of a Ford Explorer on the Big Gs par 3 seventh hole.
Melchick said that she has already received a number of donations and/or prizes from individuals and companies. Among them are Boars Head, Budweiser, Coors, Freihofers, Pepsi and Thumanns.
The reasons for the groups efforts are both personal and patriotic. Dave and Erika Barths daughter, Monique Conrad, is currently serving with the U.S. Air Force in Germany. Conrad is also Craig Sherwoods niece as Erika Barth is Sherwoods sister.
They need to know that we havent forgotten them, Melchick said of the American troops fighting overseas. They need our support, especially with what has been happening in the past few weeks.
Also helping out Melchick, Sherwood and the Barths is USAF Staff Sgt. Doc Bolduc. He is an Air Force recruiter in Middletown.
However, Bolduc stressed that he will not be recruiting at the golf tournament/fundraiser. He said his goal is strictly to help Judy and support the fundraiser.
One of the ubiquitous symbols at the fundraiser will be yellow ribbons. One of Melchicks co-workers, Stacie MacIssac, has been busy crafting small yellow ribbons for the golfers and other attendees to proudly wear. Melchick noted that she has 3,000 yards of yellow ribbon to make even more of the small symbols of hope and support for American servicemen and women.
The organizers are hoping that the golf tournament will be so successful that they can make it an annual event.
For more information about the USA Support the Troops Golf Tournament/USA Fund Raiser at Kings, please call Melchick at Pecks Market in Livingston Manor. The telephone number is 439-4091.