Westchester County Hospices Host 6th Annual Veterans Breakfast

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Four community hospices honor record number of local veterans

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino speaks with veterans, Anngela Vasser-Cooper, left and Belinda Ben-Oluwale, right

A record number of more than 400 veterans attended the breakfast, making it one of the area’s largest indoor ceremonies for veterans.

Continuing the tradition of honoring those who have served our country, Westchester County’s four hospice organizations recently hosted their sixth annual inter-hospice countywide breakfast. The event, which was held at the Westchester Marriot in Tarrytown, honored county veterans who proudly served in all five branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard. According to the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency, 56,000 veterans currently live in the county.

A record number of more than 400 veterans attended the breakfast, making it one of the area’s largest indoor ceremonies for veterans. Co-sponsors of the event included Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester (HPCW); Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam; Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care; and Phelps Hospice.

Following a welcome from hospice representative Cornelia Schimert, RN, BSN, Hospice Chaplain Peter Gibbons shared a touching invocation. Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino also participated in the ceremony, thanking those in attendance for their service.

Speakers included Ronald C. Tocci, director of the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency; Wanda Orton, director of Phelps Hospice; Beverly Duncklee, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer at VA Hudson Valley Health System, and a heartfelt speech by keynote Reverend (Major) Anthony S. Montague, US Army, Retired.

During the program, the Sleepy Hollow High School Chorus performed patriotic songs, including the fight song for each military branch.

At the breakfast’s conclusion, Reverend Montague returned to the podium for the Remembrance service, joining Rev. Ervin R. Graves, M.Div., Hospice Chaplain, and Retired Staff Sergeant Kenneth Barnes who performed a moving rendition of Taps.

(High-res photos available upon request)

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Kayleigh Lentz
Co-Communications, Inc.
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