Park Avenue Hosts Veterans Day Celebration… Thank You!


Park Avenue Hosts Veterans Day Celebration… Thank You!

November 11, 2023

On Thursday, Park Avenue Elementary School held its annual Veterans Day Celebration. The event is organized by the Park Avenue Student Council, who also spearhead two annual Veterans campaigns, Wreaths Across America and Trees for Heroes.

See a gallery of pictures from the event, below this story.

This year’s event saw more than 60 Veterans come together with proud family members in the auditorium for a ceremony that was brimming with gratitude, music, and warm patriotic spirit. The esteemed guests and their families were treated to a delicious breakfast sponsored by the Park Avenue PTA.

Here’s a recap of the event…

Guests were greeted and seated as they arrived, while the Wire Choir performed under the direction of WVHS music teacher Elissa Maynard. Once everyone was seated, a group of Marines from the US Marine Corp. in Newburgh commenced with the presentation of colors.  

As children covered their hearts and Veterans saluted, the WVHS Meistersingers, directed by WVHS music teacher Noreen Hanson, performed a soaring arrangement of the National Anthem. The Student Council then led the room through the Pledge of Allegiance.

See a gallery of pictures from the event, below this story.

Park Ave principal Bill Biniaris welcomed everyone to Park Avenue. In his remarks, he highlighted the importance of service to others, and how the Veterans are such a perfect example of that. He encouraged everyone to find ways to help others, because of “that is what makes life special.” 

Everyone enjoyed two more musical performances, one by the Wire Choir, playing Rock Parade, and another by the Meistersingers, who sang America the Beautiful.

Park Avenue teacher and student council advisor Theresa Canfield then proceeded to the microphone to thank everyone who worked so hard to make the wonderful, annual event happen, and especially to thank the Veterans for their service. Ms. Canfield introduced the morning’s guest speaker, Lt. Col. Kevin Schieman, an active duty Army Officer and an Academy Professor of Philosophy at West Point. Lt. Col. Schieman’s message about the wide ranging positive effects of service to community and others surely made an impact on the students.

See a gallery of pictures from the event, below this story.

The next portion of the program has been an audience favorite year after year, and this year was no exception. The entire student body of Park Avenue as a choir of voices singing You’re A Grand Old Flag. Katlyn Chester directed the group, and you could see how touched the Veterans were by the performance of the kindergarten through fourth grade students.

Student council advisor Amy Buliung was next to speak, and was glad to recognize Principal Biniaris for his role in the event, as well as district administration on hand, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Leach and Assistant Superintedt for Curriculum Meghan McGourty. She also thanked Board of Education President Keith Parsons and Board member Bill Fanos for participating. Ms. Buliung shared her pride in the Student Council, who work so hard on this event and their work on Veterans’ causes every year. She also introduced Park Avenue Student Council President Sabina Fasino.

Sabina talked about her interest in service and how it led her to Student Council. She talked about how being able to take part in programs like Wreaths Across America is such a great opportunity. Sabina and Ms. Buliung then invited Student Council Treasurer Maeve McVeigh to the podium.

Maeve was there to talk about the results of the Student Councils fall fundraising efforts for Wreaths Across America. Director of the Orange County Veterans Service Agency, Christian Farrell, was on hand to accept the donation. Maeve said that the Student Council set a goal to raise $2,500.00 this year. Not only did they reach that goal, but they were able to present Mr. Farrell with a check for $3,670.00!

You can read more about the Student Council’s efforts to benefit Wreaths Across America this year by checking out this story! 

The presentation was followed by a song called Thank You Soldiers, sung by the Meistersingers along with the Park Avenue students. The heartfelt rendition was directed by Ms. Chester and Ms. Hanson.

To conclude the program, Dr. Leach thanked the Veterans for their service, and for taking the time to share their experiences in a life of service with the students. He invited the Veterans attending the ceremony to stand and be recognized as he read a roll call of their names.

Ms. Maynard and the Wire Choir put the perfect finish on the moving ceremony with a beautiful version of America the Beautiful

Thank you, to all the servicemen and women who have served


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