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Hometown Heroes in Upper Holmesburg

Paul, Gus, Ava-Marie and Gary DeFinis
Megan Cavanaugh and daughter Sophia

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The Hometown Heroes program is expanding in the Northeast, with the Upper Holmesburg Civic Association recently hanging 13 banners honoring military veterans.

The civic association celebrated the program during a recent event at Cannstatter’s.

Three of the veterans who appear on banners – Megan Cavanaugh, Pat White and Gus DeFinis – were in attendance.

Others who are featured on banners are Giacomo Bruno, Ervin Carpenter, Stanley W. Cywinski, Thomas Diasio, Joe Driscoll, Maurice Durkin (who was killed in World War II), William Rountree, William Schule, Tyler Viola (active in the Coast Guard) and Gary White.

Several more people have signed up for banners – which feature a picture and branch and years of service – and the civic association is seeking others.

City Councilman Mike Driscoll took his 99-year-old dad, Joe, a World War II veteran, to see his banner near Frankford Avenue and Academy Road. Joe Driscoll’s grandchildren also took part in the Father’s Day surprise.

“This is a wonderful program,” Mike Driscoll said. “They’re the real heroes in society.”

The June 24 program also included remarks by historian Fred Moore and officials of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum, 8110 Frankford Ave. Liam Cywinski, 12-year-old great-grandson of Stanley W. Cywinski, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Upper Holmesburg Civic’s Bill Kenny chairs the Hometown Heroes program, and civic association president Stan Cywinski said he hopes to expand the program to Civil War and Revolutionary War veterans.

Cywinski said he’d like to see banners along Frankford Avenue, from Linden Avenue to Pennypack Creek, and on Ashburner Street and Torresdale Avenue.

Kenny thanked the following sponsors: Holmesburg Fish & Game, Dining Car, Burns Funeral Home and Best Dentist 4 Kids.

The cost is $250 per banner. For more information, call 215-852-9460, visit upperholmesburg.org or go to Tony’s Deals, 8803 Torresdale Ave. ••

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