Saturday, October 1, 2016


VFW Penny Social Draws Hundreds of Dollars by Merle Exit

An evening of local socializing and raffles brought in enough money to refund a VFW Post while being able to provide a Thanksgiving Dinner to military veterans.  

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars held a Penny Social Saturday, October 1, at the American Legion, located at 209 Cross Bay Blvd. in Broad Channel.   Every possible idea was used to raise funds to reimburse the raffle prizes, gain back money for the LAVFW, and give proceeds to providing Thanksgiving Dinner for the disabled veterans at St. Albans.

“Donations are tougher to get each year,” said Historian Kathy Savino. “ We purchased most of the prizes ourselves taking the chance that we would have at least enough money to cover that expense. Due to the support of both residents of Broad Channel and nearby towns, we were able to achieve our intent”. 

Prizes lined the walls and stage area with items ranging from created basket subjects, tickets for ABC audience shows and toys to bicycles, wine sets and even a kayak. It is common for people in the area to go kayaking in Jamaica Bay as they hop from a restaurant in Broad Channel to one in the Rockaways.

A $10 door admission, 50-50 raffle and door prize was just the beginning.  Raffle tickets were purchased of two colors depending upon which group of items you were going for.   Numbered white paper bags were placed in front of each prize.   Attendees went around inspecting the goods and dropped a ticket hoping that theirs would get chosen.  

Doors opened at 6pm and the raffle began at 7pm.  Many arrived early for an early bird ticket discount as well as claiming a table.   James McGinn and Keren McEnearney walked about the prizes with tickets in hand.  Were they looking for anything in particular?  “Not really”, said Keren. “Broad Channel is a tightly knit community. It is a blessing to go out with your friends while supporting the veterans.”

Although refreshments were available for purchase, tables of friends were allowed to bring in their own as well as food.   Most brought simple snacks while others donned their table with enough appetizers to fulfill the dinner hour. 

Many of the supporters were able to walk away with at least one gift while some were lucky enough to haul away enough to place under their Christmas trees or pass them on for the holidays. 

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