By Brandon HENSLEY
The spirit of Christmas may be in the air, but the mood was purely patriotic last week inside the facilities of the La Crescenta Woman’s Club.
Members of the Woman’s Club, CV Chamber of Commerce and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614 and American Legion Post 288 held a fundraiser Dec. 8 for the Two Strike War Memorial Wall.
The evening had a 1940s theme. Big Band music was played by the Crescenta Valley High School Jazz Band as people jitterbugged on the dance floor and Holly Heurkins and Leslie Lesh – dressed as canteen girls – greeted guests. Even Uncle Sam worked the crowd, portrayed by Andy Goldsworthy.
According to organizer and CV Chamber immediate past president Jean Maluccio, $2,500 was raised, bringing the total to date at $12,000. The ultimate goal is to reach $65,000.
“I think the event is something that we can look forward to in the future,” Maluccio said.
When local soldier Nick Steinbacher died while serving in 2006, his father Paul suggested to the CV Chamber that he’d like his son’s name included on a local memorial. The Vietnam Memorial, at Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard, was out as a choice because it is dedicated specifically to soldiers from that war.
The Two Strike Wall will be dedicated to soldiers of all wars, but is in need of repairs before any more names can be put on it.
Maluccio feels having a soldier’s name who died while in service is a fitting tribute for anyone in the community.
“There are many others in the community [who deserve to be remembered],” she said. “It’s very important to our community. If you give your life to your country, you should have something.”
Veterans attending the event were grateful for the fundraiser. As a member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614 and American Legion Post 288, Roy Allmon extended his thanks to the organizers.
“I would like to send mine and my wife’s (Kathy) greatest thanks to Jean Maluccio, her daughter Julie Dowse, CV Chamber of Commerce, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club and everyone else for all their efforts and work on the ‘USO Canteen Night.’ It was a great fundraiser for the Two Strike Memorial Park,” said Allmon. “I know all the members of both posts [American Legion and VFW] that attended that night feel the same.”