By Maureen Rossi
On Wednesday, August 3rd, Councilman Ed Wehrheim hosted his annual BBQ at The Watermill in Smithtown. Over 320 supporters came out for delicious Barbecue, live entertainment and the famous raffle for one noble cause. The weather held out as local Doo Wop Sensations; All Good Friends performed on the Watermill’s private Patio and gardens.
As guest arrived, they immediately purchased raffle tickets for a number of incredible prizes, including NY Mets & NY Yankees jerseys, a massive 55” Flat Screen TV, a mountain bike from Competition BMW of Smithtown, a $75 Modells gift card, two portable Grillmaster BBQ’s and a 50/50 cash giveaway. Collectively, the raffle generated $2,340 to help U.S. Military Veterans, more specifically Vietnam Veterans of America Suffolk County Chapter 11 and the work Hon. Jack Toomey does with the organization and the County Veterans Court. In addition to the money raised from the guests, the St. James V.F.W. Post 395 donated a check to the organization for $1000 that was presented by Walter Wood aka “Woody.” All five candidates in the upcoming Smithtown Election, (Supervisor Candidate Ed Wehrheim, Town Clerk Incumbent candidate, Vincent Puleo, Town Council candidates Bob Doyle and Tom Lohmann and Superintendent of Highways Incumbent candidate Robert Murphy) also donated $100 each from personal savings. The total amount raised for local US Military Veterans totalled $3840.00
“Tonight I thank you as a friend, a neighbor and Vietnam Veteran. I am so grateful and proud to call myself a member of this truly remarkable organization. There are no words to describe the level of dedication and devotion the mentors at Chapter 11 put forth everyday and the work that Judge Jack Toomey does at the Veterans Court. These men and women are giving second chances to young veterans who served six, seven tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. They help Veterans from all wars and it is just a privilege to be standing next to these fine individuals. Because of all of you, the work you do each day and the unbreakable bonds that you establish… never again will a Veteran come home and be spat on…” – Ed Wehrheim, Candidate for Smithtown Supervisor, current Town Councilman
As a decorated Vietnam Veteran, Councilman Ed Wehrheim has made a point to ensure all Veterans are given the respect, gratitude and opportunities they deserve after service. Every year, he holds the BBQ to raise money for Veteran-based groups.
About the Vietnam Veterans of America Suffolk County Chapter 11
To the Vietnam Veterans of America Suffolk County Chapter 11 serves to help foster, encourage and improve the quality of life and conditions of ALL Veterans. The organization serves to eliminate discrimination, develop public policy proposals to improve the quality of life for Veterans from providing employment and education opportunities to assisting disabled and needy military veterans, their dependents, widows and orphans.
The Suffolk County Veterans Court provides access to treatment, counseling, case management, supportive housing and other services. The Court works closely with the Northport VA to give US Military Veterans a chance to address health and mental conditions or issues, to avoid incarceration for current charges.