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Event Recap: Rutherford Little League Honors Veterans

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo credits: Kelly Lancaster and Jennifer Ersalesi

Although scheduled for Saturday, May 20th, the Rutherford Little League "Honors Our Veterans" event was postponed until Sunday, May 21st due to rain. Under blue skies on a breezy afternoon, the ceremony began with the introduction of members of the RHS Band who played the drums during the lineup and march and the RHS Choir, the Home Little League team, and the Visitor team. Next, all of the veterans were invited to line up on the field. Veronica Virostko, member of the RHS Choir, sang "The Star Spangled Banner". McKenzie Lancaster welcomed the Veterans and expressed her gratitude for their service during her speech. Her father, Marine Veteran, Tom Lancaster, stood proudly on the field. Mayor Frank Nunziato also attended the event and congratulated all of those involved for organizing the event to honor our local Veterans and the Veterans for their service. His father, Army Veteran, Ralph Nunziato, also joined the other Veterans. The Veterans names were all announced and are listed below:

Army Veterans Marines Veterans Navy Veterans Coast Guard Veterans

Chris Auriemma Roger Bell John Connallon Charles Binder

Vincent Calabrese Bryan Carter Chris Gioia

Walter Gunn Michael Cosenzo Joseph McAllister

Leyla Kuznia William Galloway Robert Joyce

Matt Kuznia Adrian Hendricks Doug Kuenzle

Robert Lipinski Martin Kless

Bob Lyons Tom Lancaster

William Murnane George Rivera

Rene Roa Michael Schmeding

Ralph Nunziato

Dennis Letsche

Members of the Rutherford Police Department, Rutherford Fire Department, and the Rutherford First-Aid Ambulance Corps were also there to show their support. The American flag was displayed from the tallest ladder of one of the fire engines.

Lunch for the Veterans was catered and donated by Annamaria's Deli. The "Thank You Veterans" lawn sign was donated by LOL Yard Signs. There were other families and small businesses recognized for their support and/ or donations at the event, including The Blarney Station, Immaculate Designs, the Lancaster, Gioia, Redington, and Barnes Families, Mayor Nunziato and This is Rutherford.

Navy Veteran, Bob Joyce, father of Cormac Joyce, member of the Little League Board and Little League Coach, threw out the first pitch. As a special surprise, the NJ State Police Helicopter also flew over the field a few times as a way to express their gratitude for the selfless service of the military men and women standing on the field.

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