A home-cooked meal, gifts, door prizes, entertainment, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and certificates of appreciation all combined to be part of a special day for veterans of area nursing homes, courtesy of the men and women of the Steubenville American Legion Argonne Post 33 and its auxiliary unit.
Approximately 60 veterans from nursing homes in Jefferson, Harrison and Belmont counties were brought Dec. 11 to the Legion post on 808 N. Fifth St. where Legion and auxiliary representatives joined forces to extend holiday cheer to those who have served our country.
The party is a long-standing tradition for the Legion, according to its commander, Terry Channel.
Steubenville American Legion Argonne Post 33 representatives, from left, seated, Vince Monti, Dan Zapolnik, Terry Channel, Ben Turnbaugh, Mike Boka and Ron Mitchell, and standing, Jim Horan, Eugene Williams, Joe Holliday, Norman Potenzina, Santa, Al Pasco, Arguell Harris, Kenny Walter and Ken Mazik.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
"The auxiliary and post have been doing this a long time, as long as I can remember," Channel said.
"We do this for the veterans in nursing homes because a lot of them don't have anyone, and we just want to help them out because they deserve something," Channel said. "They served our country and helped us, and we're just trying to give back a little bit."
"We will give everyone a lunch, we have door prizes, and we have gifts. We're giving everyone a gift, and ones that never made it here today, if they were sick or unable to come, we've got gifts to send back to the nursing homes for them," Channel said.
Louise Holliday, president of the auxiliary unit, said that in addition to the veterans from nursing homes on hand for the party, the event also included nursing home representatives, about 15 Legion members assisting and 15 to 20 auxiliary members helping out with the food.
"This year we're doing something a little bit different," Holliday said as the party was about to begin. "We're giving all the veterans a certificate of appreciation."
A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus also was on the agenda in addition to welcoming words from Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci and musical selections by Tom Graham, a Jefferson County commissioner.
Among nursing homes represented were the Laurels of Steubenville, Gables Care Center, Villa Royal, Villa Vista, Carriage Inn, Belmont Manor, Carriage Inn in Cadiz and Country Club Manor, according to Holliday.
"These men came out and gave their lives for our country, and we should honor them," Holliday said of the significance of the event.