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Honoring veterans at Protestant Home

Carol Drummond, Audrey Alston and Jim Walker, along with St. Cecilia students.
St. Cecilia students with John Lugrine, a 100-year-old World War II veteran.

The Philadelphia Protestant Home hosted its annual Veterans Day celebration on Friday.

PPH treated residents who are veterans to lunch and a dessert of apple pie and ice cream.

The waiters and waitresses were students at St. Cecilia Elementary School, brought to the retirement home by teachers Kelly Roney, Kristin Weiler and Kathy McDonough.

PPH director of community relations Bill Conaway emceed the event, and thanked executive assistant Kathy Wersinger for arranging the patriotic centerpieces and the American flags and miniature soldiers on the tables.

State Rep. Jared Solomon spoke of how he and then-Elk County Rep. Matt Gabler started a House Armed Services Caucus and passed a bill helping veterans receive the benefits they are entitled to.

“Let’s empower our veterans moving forward,” Solomon said.

Residents who are veterans played a big role in the event. Carol Drummond led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Audrey Alston sang the national anthem and America the Beautiful. Allan Graham offered the invocation. And Jim Walker played Taps.

St. Cecilia eighth-graders Piper McHugh and Gabe Zorawski explained the POW-MIA table set for one with an empty chair. Classmate Kelly Trahey read her essay submitted for the VFW Patriot’s Pen contest.

The Rev. Chris Walsh, pastor at St. Cecilia, was in attendance. Students presented veterans with hand-made cards, pieces of an American flag and prayer cards.

Former PPH marketing outreach specialist Valerie Williams returned for the day to distribute goody bags courtesy of Patina, a healthcare company. ••

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