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A Thank You We Received From a Veteran

“It’s with great pride I see this participation. I am an Army Veteran Class of 1974. I’ve been in the VA clinic as cards were passed out and have seen veterans smiles, laughter and tears from Veterans Day and Christmas cards! I want you to know how much your hard word and love means to so many veterans. It’s my turn to say “Thank You”…”

Joy,  HHDS  Class of 1974

This means so much to hear back from those that have received the cards.  Thanks so much.

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Preschoolers from Texas At the Brighton Academy Participate in the Card Drive too!!

Texas (375x375)

Many thanks to Cas’ grandson Tony for spearheading the card collecting efforts  in Texas.  We found this post on line from  a local preschool in Texas.  Great job and so cute!!!

We ❤️ that these little guys and their classmates @brighton_academy are honoring our servicemen & women for the Christmas season! Spread the love! #Repost  ・・・ So excited to send these cards off for the Casimir “Cas” J. Krolak Holiday Card Drive! Our stack of 150 cards will join over 30,000 cards that will be distributed to service men and women and veterans. #brightonourworld

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Polk Street School Keeps “Sophie’s Dream” Big


Many thanks to the 5th graders at Polk Street Elementary in Franklin Square  for participating again this year with our card drive.  They sent  100 beautiful cards for our troops and veterans.  I really appreciate how the NYS Assembly worked to together to spread the message of collecting cards for our troops all over NYS.  My Assemblymen  Phil Palmesano and Chris Friend sent out a letter to the entire NYS Assembly  asking if they could reach out to their districts for any groups interested in making cards.  Assemblywoman  Michaelle Solages was one of several districts that participated.  Cards were also received from Manhattan and Niagara Falls as well.  Polk Street School Keeps “Sophie’s Dream” Big

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Thanks to the entire Krolak family


It has been my honor getting to know the entire Krolak family and I appreciate all the help with the card drive.   Cas’s son David  drove from Basking Ridge, NJ  to help me  deliver cards to the Veterans at the Bath  VA.  There even was a friendly family competition with his nephew Tony to see which state could collect more cards for the card drive, Texas or New Jersey.  The big state of Texas won.  Cas would be so proud of all of you.

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Final delivery of the Cas Krolak Card Drive; The Bath VA


On a Friday night,  I was so honored to be joined by Cas Krolak’s family to deliver the final  300  cards to the Bath VA.  His son David drove from Basking Ridge, NJ as well as his granddaughter and great-granddaughter with her friends all dressed as Elves   from Elmira.    It was so much fun to be joined by my Red Cross mentor Linda Conway and Congressman  Phil Palmesano too.  Mrs. Conway  was even able to arrange a visit from  Santa and Mrs.  Claus. We visited for several hours and even  sang a few holiday songs.   Finally  I wish to thank  my mentor Dick Walters from the Bath VA for always taking the time to take me to Bath to visit the Veterans and arrange this special  card delivery.  Cas would have been so pleased how the card drive turned out……37,712 cards collected and delivered.
Well done to all. bath-va-3-500x375

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Delivery at the Corning UPS Store


The final delivery took place at the Corning UPS Store.    Many thanks to my big brother Matthew for loading all the cards in his truck for me,  to WENY, the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes and the Corning  UPS for hosting and sponsoring all the coverage /costs of the card drive , to Cas Krolak’s family, my mentors Susan Pirozzolo of the HHDS,  Dick Walters of the Bath VA and all the volunteers that joined us to help pack up and ship out all 37,712 cards.    The only cards left by the end of the day were the 300  that would be delivered to the Bath VA at the end of the week.  I was so honored to also be joined by the Commander and  Officiers of the Corning American Legion.  Not only did they help unload and box up the cards for delivery to our troops  but they also accepted 1000 cards to deliver to our local veterans.  I really appreciate that  WENY,  the Star Gazette and Time Warner Cable News were there to cover the story as well.  The cards were delivered to Jordan,  Fort Drum,  Antartica,  Stratton Air Nat’l Guard, Iraq,  the Pacific Islands,  the Arabian Sea,  Qatar,  Afghanistan,  Fort Lee, Virginia,  Kuwait,  the Canandaigua VA,   and one veteran in Montour Falls that contacted WENY requesting a card.  (we sent 10 of our best).   Cards were distributed locally to the Big Flats  , Campbell, Bath and Corning American Legion as well.  Thank you to the best community in the world for all the help.  ups-delivery-3-500x375

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Last card event : The Big Flats Community Center Yo Group


Being from Big Flats,  it meant a lot to me for my last scheduled event of the 2017 card drive to  be at the Big Flats Community Center Yo Group.  Not only did students make cards but we were also joined by Brandon Hodge from the Air Force, my mentors Sue Pirozzolo and Leanne DeRosa,  Cas’s family and  Thom Farr, Commander of the Big Flats American Legion Post 1612.  We presented 150 cards to him that he would be handing out to local Veterans on our behalf.  Final total  announced that day for the card drive was 37,712 cards!!!

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Corning Youth Center….we made the goal here again.


For the second year in a row,  our goal was passed at the Corning Youth Center for the Cas Krolak Holiday Card Drive.    They also worked hard on their own card goal and made 450 cards themselves for the card drive.  Thanks so much for all the help from the many students that go there each day afterschool.  Thanks to my mentors Leanne of WENY , Katie of the Community Foundation and Dick Walters of the Bath VA for joining me as well to help celebrate.