Hancock Field Alumni News for March Published March 6, 2008 By MSgt Rita Scheirer Alumni Association President Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY -- Our monthly meeting for February was held Thursday, February 21st with Col. (Ret.) Dick Blansett having a guest-starring role as our speaker. When the regular meeting business was accomplished were able to hear some great information about the American Red Cross, about military charities, and also about checking some recommended web sites whenever you consider investing your fiscal assets toward a non-profit or not-for-profit organization. Here are some of the sites Col. (Ret.) Blansett recommended: http://www.guidestar.org - IRS 990 reports for most charities and more http://www.charitynavigator.org - lots of comparisons, easy formatting. 4-star rating system http://wwwcharityreports.bbb.org/public/all.aspx?bureauID=9999 - Better Business Bureau National Charity Reports Index. Check to see if it's a myth or a hoax before you invest: http://www.snopes.com http://urbanlegends.about.com http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org And for us military-minded philanthropists... http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/americasupportsyou/index.aspx http://www.redcross.org/services/afes/0,1082,0_479_,00.html At the time of this writing, the Alumni Association forwards our sincere condolences to 174th Fighter Wing Commander, Colonel Tony Basile and his family, as they are preparing final arrangements for Colonel Basile's father, Mr. Frank Basile. We know Chief Whiting, as our Alumni Chaplain and tireless Sunshine Committee Chairman, will well represent us as will many other folks this Friday during the Mass and Services. On a much happier note, an Alumni member that is very near and dear to me - Chief Gary Scheirer - is currently at Bike Week in Daytona Beach. Lord knows why, but Jon Lefeber decided to adopt the Chief for an extended week, and together they're riding the roads and seeing the sights of the biggest annual biker event of the year. As an added treat, Jon had a couple guests stop by his house last night in Port Orange - Barb and Charlie Bacon and Tania Mousaw! Florida is getting to be such a small world. But that's great because it seems you already know so many friends there! This month's Alumni meeting is on Thursday, the 20th. Our guest speaker is 152nd Alumnus and former First Sergeant; MSgt. (Ret.) Terry Matro. For many years Terry and his wife Eileen have been involved in Guide Dogs for the Blind. They raise them from pups and train them, and then watch their little ones go to serve folks they've never met. What a wonderful, selfless and fulfilling service. We look forward to hearing more and maybe meeting one of their trainees! I also wanted to mention that due to popular demand we'll be hosting the New York State Scratch-Off raffle again this year, to again help defray the expenses associated with our annual Association Picnic. I'll ask you to mark August 23rd on your calendars for the picnic this year, and we'll be voting for the date, yea or nay, at this month's meeting. Once we have the date confirmed, the rest of the planning can get underway. So please start purchasing those NYS Scratch-off Lottery cards and send them (or cash donation) along to project points of contact Maureen and John McNamara. Oops, I probably should have asked Moe before I volunteered - asked her again...well, I'll be sure to ask her at the meeting. Have a wonderful month, and hope to see you Thursday, the 20th of March at 7:00 PM, Heritage Room, All Service Club. Oh, and also mark your calendars for our April meeting (17th) when our guest speaker is Command Chief Master Sergeant Dave Heckman, who'll give us base updates and a briefing on the new MQ-9 Reaper!