Military veterans are no strangers to service and many of these men and women are committed to giving back to their community even after their official duties are over. American Legion Glenwood Landing Post 336 in Glen Head is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, from 7 to 11 p.m. to support Cove Animal Rescue (CAR), the animal shelter in Glen Cove that just celebrated its first anniversary.
Post member Ken Kraft helped organize the event along with his fellow Legion members, who decided to dedicate the event to the memory of his animal loving son, Tommy Kraft, who died in a car accident last December at age 22.
“We wanted to do something for a local organization,” said Kraft, 70, a Vietnam veteran. “Tommy loved animals and used to take care of the neighbor’s dogs, starting as young as age 7. My buddies thought it would be a nice way to honor him, and I agreed.”
Kraft lived in Glen Head for nearly 30 years before moving back to his home village of Manorhaven last year. While in Glen Head raising four children, he was “extremely involved” in the community; he coached “thousands of kids” in baseball, soccer, softball and basketball and was involved with the American Legion, organizing food drives for Mutual Concerns and the Glen Cove Senior Center for the past several years. Though he no longer lives in the community, he is still very connected.
“I generate all my sorrow into something positive by giving back. I’ve gotta keep moving forward,” he said.
The idea of a fundraiser for CAR and dedicating it to Tommy was not the original intention, but made sense once everything fell into place. He said there were thousands of people who turned up to pay their respects after Tommy died and he expects several hundred people to attend the April 16 event.
“It’s a nice testament to my son and our friends,” he said.
They are requesting a $20 donation for the cocktail party, which will include a cash bar, snacks and music by Chickenhead.
“Cove Animal Rescue recognizes young people who have compassion for those that have no voice; young people who sense an awareness of unexpressed needs; these are the qualities that will form a special connection with an animal,” said board member Betty Geiger. “And these are the young people who improve our entire community.”
The cocktail party will be at American Legion Glenwood Landing Post 336, 190 Glen Head Rd., Glen Head. For those unable to attend but interested in supporting Vets For Pets, donations can be sent to CAR at 40 Shore Rd, Glen Cove, NY 11542.