When military veterans gather to honor others for their service, you know it’s going to be a special evening. On Saturday, Nov. 6, Boothbay’s Charles E. Sherman Jr. American Legion Post #36 held its annual awards night to thank community members who have been especially supportive of the Legion.
Recipients included members of law enforcement, local business owners and members of the Legion and the Legion Auxiliary. The awards were announced following a dinner buffet that included chowder, beef tips, chicken piccata, haddock and pie, which was catered by Ralph Smith who was among those recognized for their many contributions.
“He has been incredibly generous,” Post Commander David Patch said. “By bringing equipment and staff for the Legion’s dinners and events, he makes sure that the Legion can continue financially.” Patch read from the award presented to Smith saying, “You never say ‘no’ when asked to support our events.”
Commenting on the recognition, Smith told the Boothbay Register, “I’m very flattered and humbled, because they should be getting the awards. They risked their lives for our country and now are helping veterans.”
Sheriff Todd Bracket and Lt Brendan Kane of Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received an award for its service to the community, especially during the pandemic, and LCSO was praised for working with veterans on the firing range and helping with the Veterans Day parade.
Boothbay Harbor Police Department was honored for ensuring veterans are “connected to the American Legion” to receive support and services. Hasch was unable to attend the dinner due to a staffing shortage and Patch explained the award will be presented at the police station.
“Big Al” Cohen was presented with an award in recognition of his support for veterans. Cohen explained to the Boothbay Register that he was “deeply involved” in the Set for Success event and became more involved with the Legion’s activities when the Veterans Emergency Temporary Shelter program started. Cohen has contributed plates, cutlery and other items to the shelters and for Legion events. “I’m grateful for the award, and thankful that I’m able to help people,” he said.
Coast Guard Officer in Charge Adam Smith was honored for the help his station provides to the Legion during events. That help ranges from crowd control to washing dishes at the community breakfasts. He was unable to attend and his award will be presented to him at a later date.
Ed Harmon was recognized for his “dedication and assistance” as the Post Service Officer. In this role, Harmon assists veterans in making sure they receive the benefits they have earned.
Christopher Armstead was presented with a certificate citing his dedication to “the office of Americanism” and specifically for his efforts with the Legion’s American flag program.
Fran Nicoletta, who was unable to attend, was given an award for his efforts setting up the Legion breakfasts.
For the first time, a “Commander’s Award” was created to recognize the work of Suzanne Harmon for her leadership in upgrading the Legion hall. Patch praised her efforts, telling the Register that Harmon went “above and beyond.”
Patch presented Chris Goodwin with a certificate of appreciation from the state, to recognize Goodwin’s service.
Arthur Richardson was presented with an award by Ed Harmon from the Sons of the Legion (Squadron 36) for his “steadfast commitment to the VETS program.” As a founding officer of what has become its own non-profit organization, Richardson’s commitment will be recognized in a plaque on one of the VETS trailers.
Patch explained that the awards dinner is the one time every year that the Post has a formal dinner with spouses and a social event. About 50 guests attended.