Throughout the weekend of Friday, December 19 through Monday, December 21, 2020 scores of deserving civilian and military families in several Eastern Orange County communities received complete Christmas dinners thanks to the generous efforts of the members of the Father Donald J. Whelan, Division 2 in Cornwall, NY.
Special thanks are in order to Brother John Encke and his daughter, Elizabeth Encke (2020 NYAOH Scholarship Recipient) who coordinated donations of turkeys and other food items from Stop & Shop and to Division President Bill Kirnan who organized the weekend deliveries and the complex logistics of deliveries that were as much as 25 miles apart. Members, families and friends turned out in force on Friday night to begin packing the full dinners so that the members could fan out on Saturday morning making their deliveries.
This year the division began what they hope to be a lasting relationship in helping the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal located in the St. Mary of the Assumption Friary with their mission of caring for the poorest of poor in and around the City of Newburgh and in particular those hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In making the deliveries on Monday morning, Division Vice President Mike Shannon and Recording Secretary Kevin Cummings made sure to include a hearty Christmas dinner for the Friars and Brothers in residence at the Friary in thanks for all their devotion to the less fortunate in the community. This year’s combined effort was dedicated to the memory of Brother John Greehy who generously gave of his time and monetary support in so many years past. His presence was evident in the words of one of the grateful families who stated “I knew John wouldn’t forget us. He is just making his deliveries from heaven now!”