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  • Thursday, May 07, 2020

    Legion Feeds Cortland County First Responders, ER Staff

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    Department Commander Mike McDermott helpes deliver meals to ER staff at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. Photos by Wayne Dunckel.

    Department Commander Michael McDermott and the Cortland County Legion Family turned out to provide  spaghetti and meatball dinners to first responders from throughout the county on May 5.

    “It was fantastic,” Commander McDermott said. “We served 235 dinners and had lots of help. We really worked as a team.”

    They had arranged for fire, police and ambulance services to pick up the dinners and bring them back to their stations. In addition, Legion Family members delivered 15 dinners to the Emergency Department staff at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in Cortland.

    McDermott said the Legion wanted to show appreciation for the people on the front lines of the coronavirus state of emergency – especially since many of them were military veterans themselves.

    He said that when he put the word out around the county, he was excited by the response. “I can’t believe how big this has gotten,” he said, with the following departments making pick-up reservations: Cortland Fire Department, 12 volunteer fire departments, TLC Ambulance, Cortland Police, Homer Police, Cortland County Sheriff’s Department, and Troop C New York State Troopers.

    First responders from the various departments could drive up, have their vehicles loaded by Legion Family members wearing masks, and then drive off, McDermott explained.

    The Legion volunteers included Legionnaires and members of the Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion from various Cortland County Posts.

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    6th District Commander Leo Mackin loads car for Homer Police.

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    Corky Risley (right) of Homer Auxiliary Unit 465 brought food to load in New York State Trooper vehicle.

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    Eileen Bentley (left), president of Auxiliary Unit 489, and M.B. Kingsley of Auxiliary Unit 465 carry meals out to awaiting first responders. In the background are Department Commander Mike McDermott and Homer Post 465 Commander Paul Powers.

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    RNs Amber Minci and Luke Atwater accepted the meals on behalf of the ER staff at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. At left is 6th District Commander Leo Mackin, and at right are Department Commander Mike McDermott and Homer Auxiliary Unit 465 President Donna Riley.

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    Department Commander’s Aide Ricky Price, left, and 6th District Commander Leo Mackin.