PURPLE HEART HOMES TEAMS UP WITH SENATOR GREG BALL TO HOST 4TH ANNUAL VETERANS THANKSGIVING DINNER

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Brewster, N.Y. – 07/21/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, is teaming up with Purple Heart Homes Association to host the 4th Annual Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner in November.

“The Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite events that I have the distinct honor of hosting each year, and I hope to continue to do so for years to come, regardless of if I am elected into public office. Seeing the smiles on the veterans’ faces is truly rewarding,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I am thrilled to get to work with Purple Heart Homes this year to make this the best Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner we’ve had yet. I urge anyone who wants to give back to those who have given so much for our country to assist us in the planning of this dinner.”

Over the past three years, Senator Ball has worked with the community to host an annual Thanksgiving dinner for local veterans. This year, the Senator is partnering with Purple Heart Homes to seek donations and volunteers in order to make the free meal possible. The event will take place on November 22nd at the Putnam Golf Course. Seating times will be 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

“I always look forward to the Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner each year, as it is truly an incredible event for everyone who attends,” said Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Eugene Parrotta. “It’s great that Senator Ball is hosting the dinner for a fourth time this year. I know that the hundreds of veterans who attend each year are already excited to be invited back for another great Thanksgiving celebration.”

“Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to be thankful to all of our Veterans and their families that served and are serving this great nation.  We will take delight in serving them a delicious meal at the Fourth Annual Veterans Dinner with Senator Ball,” said John Gallina, Co-founder of Purple Heart Homes.

In addition to volunteers, Senator Ball is also seeking donations for the Thanksgiving Dinner including: uncooked turkeys (20 lbs or more), turkey gravy, cans of string beans, cans of whole white potatoes, cans of corn, cans of cranberry sauce, salad dressing, premade bags of stuffing, 48 oz cans of chicken broth, pies and décor.

To RSVP for the dinner, or if you are interested in volunteering or donating goods, please contact Senator Greg Ball’s office at (845) 279-3773.

For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at jbachmei@nysenate.gov

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THE COURIER: BALL SECURES $60,000 TO FIGHT YOUTH HEROIN ADDICTION

By: Eric Gross

State Senator Greg Ball has secured $60,000 of state funding to combat heroin and opioid addiction among Putnam’s youth.

The funds will be channeled through the Peers Influence Peers program—a non-profit aimed at providing opportunities for young people to use their influence with their peers to make healthy life style choices.

Ball called the epidemic of heroin addiction plaguing the Putnam region as “frightening. It is sickening to hear of the countless deaths in our communities. We must get to our young people before it is too late.”

Upwards of three dozen young men and women have died of heroin overdoses in the Putnam area within the past 18 months.

Peers Influence Peers will use the infusion of cash to visit high schools in Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac, Putnam Valley and Lakeland starting in September.

Frank Reale, president of the Putnam Valley based organization, praised his members for producing a documentary “Chasing It,” that examines the explosive issue.

Reale said the state grant will allow his group to “reach out to local high school students and their parents in order to raise awareness about the epidemic.”

Susan and Steven Salamone of Mahopac lost their son to a heroin overdose last year.

Steven Salamone said he was “excited and encouraged” by the news. “We are facing an epidemic and need strong tools to win the battle against addiction. Education is key towards preventing drug abuse. We must keep the momentum going.” (ARTICLE)

HOMELAND SECURITY CHAIRMAN ISSUES STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF ISRAEL

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Brewster, N.Y. – 07/17/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in support of Israel.

“I strongly stand with our friends in Israel as they defend themselves from senseless terrorists attacks against their civilian populations throughout the country. Without reservation I support Israel’s right to defend herself using any means necessary to persevere, defend and protect civilian life. Hamas and its terrorist activity are not and shall never be acceptable to any freedom loving and humane modern day society. I extend my utmost support and encouragement to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli Security Cabinet, The IDF Forces and all Israelis who live every day in a constant state of war, and without hesitation bravely defend their right to exist,” said Senator Greg Ball.

For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at jbachmei@nysenate.gov

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DAILY VOICE: SEN. BALL NOTES PROGRESS ON VIETNAM VETERAN’S HOME

by Alesha Hanson

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. — Sen. Greg Ball, R, C, I-Patterson, chairman of the state Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has continued to make progress on the home of Vietnam War veteran Pvt. Dan Flanigan’s home, alongside Purple Heart Homes.

Ball and Purple Heart Homes are currently working to upgrade the home of Flanigan, a 100 percent service-connected disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Pawling. Construction on Flanigan’s house kicked off Saturday, June 14, with the demolition of the front porch.

“I am thrilled that the renovations on Dan’s home have been moving along so smoothly,” said Ball. “From the very start of the project, countless volunteers and donors have reached out to contribute time, money and supplies to this great cause.

“Help is still needed in order for us to complete this tremendous project in the coming months. If you would like to join our efforts to give this service-connected disabled veteran the proper ‘welcome home’ he deserves, I encourage you to contact my office to get involved.”

“I am beyond humbled to have been selected by Purple Heart Homes and Sen. Ball for this project,” said Fanigan. “From the beginning, I have received a great deal of support from my community throughout this process, and for that I am truly grateful. It is exciting to see the numerous volunteers and donors at my house each day who are so eager to help out.”

Materials that are still needed include ¾-inch hardwood flooring, windows, carpet, Bilco cellar doors, two entry doors, spray foam insulation, air conditioning, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave and kitchen countertops.

If you would like to volunteer your time or professional services, contact Ball’s office at 845-279-3773.

If you would like to make a monetary donation for the project, visit www.purplehearthomesusa.org. (ARTICLE)

POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL: PAWLING VETERAN GETS HELP WITH HOME

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By: Nina Schutzman

About 15 years ago, Dan Flanigan, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, inherited his parents’ century-old home.

His parents had inherited the Spring Street home in Pawling in 1970 from his grandmother, said Flanigan, 66.

But the once-beautiful home had fallen into disarray over the years.

“It’s an old, old house,” said Flanigan, who served in the Army and is 100 percent service-connected disabled. “With all the expenses and the taxes here, I’ve been barely able to keep up.”

The home has no insulation and the oil bills are “astronomical,” added the Purple Heart recipient who works at the nearby Hannaford.

Enter state Sen. Greg Ball and Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit that provides housing solutions for disabled veterans and their families.

Ball, R-Patterson, started looking for a veteran to help in September.

Flanigan’s neighbor recommended him for the program, said Krista Gobins, Ball’s director of programs.

“I didn’t know much about the organization but when I heard about it… I thought in my heart, ‘could this be true?’ Now everything is coming to fruition,” Flanigan said.

The Pawling veteran, who is living in his home while the restoration takes place, has been injured in ways visible and not.

On a May morning in 1969, Flanigan was in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. A hand grenade exploded near him, spraying shrapnel into his head, Ball’s office said in a news release. Besides the injuries he sustained, he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and nightmares.

“Dan is a hero in our community,” said Ball, a U.S. Air Force veteran. “This is a man who was in battle… he was in a home that was about to fall down and didn’t even have a working shower.”

Flanigan doesn’t consider himself a hero.

“I’m just one of the fortunate ones who made it back from Vietnam,” he said.

Construction on the Pawling home began in mid-June, with the demolition of the front porch.

“We started with a dilapidated home… trees were falling through the front porch,” said general contractor Robert Farese. “The inside of the house is OK, but it’s dated.”

Farese is one of the volunteers helping out; there have been many in the community, from neighbors who bring snacks, to a retired New York City firefighter who shows up to paint the house, who have made the project possible.

Flanigan is “emotionally attached to this structure, so we’re going to make it like it was brand-new,” Farese said. “I’m sure that’s going to change his life. I can see the change already. He’s ecstatic.”

Since the project began, a new front and back porch have been built and plumbing for a new bathroom is underway, according to information from Ball’s office. Fresh paint, electrical work and a new kitchen and upgrades in a second bathroom are also due.

“I greatly look forward to the day that Dan can proudly enjoy his new home,” said James Schmitt, owner of Schmitt Brothers Contracting, a company that volunteered services, via news release. “We are honored to help in completely renovating the home of this war hero.”

They hope to have the home finished by September. Project organizers have raised money for expenses, and want to have another fundraiser soon.

The project has been a great blessing, Flanigan said.

“This would make my parents so proud,” the veteran said of the restoration. (ARTICLE)

SENATOR GREG BALL AND PURPLE HEART HOMES CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS ON DISABLED VETERAN’S HOME

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(Pictured left to right: Senator Greg Ball, General Contractor Robert Farese and the owner of Schmitt Brother’s Contracting James Schmitt)

Pawling, N.Y. – 07/14/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has continued to make progress on the home of Vietnam War Veteran Private Dan Flanigan’s home, alongside Purple Heart Homes. Renovations began last month and are expected to be completed by this fall.

Senator Ball and Purple Heart Homes are currently working to upgrade the home of Private Daniel Flanigan, a 100 percent service-connected disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Pawling. Construction on Private Flanigan’s house kicked off June 14th with the demolition of the front porch.

“I am thrilled that the renovations on Dan’s home have been moving along so smoothly. From the very start of the project, countless volunteers and donors have reached out to contribute time, money and supplies to this great cause,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Help is still needed in order for us to complete this tremendous project in the coming months. If you would like to join our efforts to give this service-connected disabled veteran the proper “welcome home” he deserves, I encourage you to contact my office to get involved.”

Since the project began, a new front and back porch have been built and plumbing for a new bathroom is under way. Upcoming steps include redoing the roof, painting the interior and exterior of the house, completing the electrical work and upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms.

“I am beyond humbled to have been selected by Purple Heart Homes and Senator Ball for this project. From the beginning, I have received a great deal of support from my community throughout this process, and for that I am truly grateful,” said Vietnam War Veteran Private Daniel Fanigan. “It is exciting to see the numerous volunteers and donors at my house each day who are so eager to help out.”

Materials that are still needed include ¾ inch hardwood flooring, windows, carpet, Bilco cellar doors, two entry doors, spray foam insulation, air conditioning, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave and kitchen counter-tops.

If you would like to volunteer your time or professional services, please contact Senator Greg Ball’s office by calling (845) 279-3773.

If you would like to make a monetary donation for the project, please make a check payable to Purple Heart Homes and send to Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union: 1620 New York 22, Brewster, NY 10509 or visit: www.purplehearthomesusa.org.

James Schmitt, owner of Schmitt Brother’s Contracting, whose excavation business volunteered their services for the project said he was more than happy to help.

“Schmitt Brother’s Contracting is all about giving back to the community. We are honored to help in completely renovating the home of this war hero,” said James Schmitt. “I would like to thank Senator Ball and Purple Heart Homes for putting this project in motion. I greatly look forward to the day that Dan can proudly enjoy his new home.”

For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at jbachmei@nysenate.gov

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LEWISBORO LEDGER: BALL, BUCHWALD TEAM UP TO HONOR STATE’S POW/MIA VETERANS

 

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By Lewisboro Ledger

State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C, I–Patterson) and Assemblyman David Buchwald (D–White Plains) recently teamed up to help pass a bill that will “require local governments to display the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flag when it is provided to the municipality by a local veterans organization,” according to a press release from Mr. Buchwald.

The legislation, which was authored by Mr. Buchwald in the Assembly before being sponsored by Mr. Ball in the Senate, will now be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for approval.

Mr. Buchwald represents Lewisboro and Katonah in the 93rd District, and Mr. Ball serves Lewisboro in the 40th District.

“The POW/MIA flag is a symbol of respect and honor, as well as a reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country,” Mr. Buchwald said. “Displaying this flag is an important way to carry on the tradition of honoring our nation’s veterans and military families.”

“It was an honor to be part of the passing of such a meaningful piece of legislation,” Mr. Ball said in the press release. “We must never forget those who have sacrificed so much. This nation must always show resolve in recognizing and honoring our beloved POW/MIA heroes. It is critically important that all of those who have served our country are recognized for their sacrifice, and that is especially true for this special class of heroes.”

The POW/MIA flag was developed by the National League of Families as a reminder of the U.S. military personnel who were taken as prisoners or listed as missing in action.

The flag was officially recognized by Congress in 1998 and was authorized to fly each year on several national observances, including Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

Congress also designated the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The bill passed by state legislators requires local municipalities to display the flag on these six days as well.

According to the press release, the legislation “will not be a financial burden on municipalities, as the POW/MIA flags are required to be flown only when provided by a local veterans organization along with any necessary attachments or fasteners.” (ARTICLE)

GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS SENATOR BALL’S BILL TO NAME HUDSON VALLEY BRIDGE IN HONOR OF DISABLED VETERANS

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Albany, N.Y. – 07/03/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has announced that today Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a piece of legislation that will designate a bridge in the Hudson Valley to honor local disabled veterans.

The legislation (S5974A/A8224A) will designate the bridge span on Bryant Pond road, crossing the Taconic state parkway, in Putnam County as the “Disabled American Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

“The men and women returning home from service to our country with injuries incurred in the line of duty are so worthy of this dedication,” said Senator Greg Ball. “Thanks to the Governor’s support, the Taconic State Parkway bridge at Bryant Pond Road will serve as a constant reminder that freedom is not free, it is paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of our service men and women.”

The Disabled American Veterans of Northern Westchester/Putnam Chapter Number 137 sent a letter to Senator Ball requesting New York State recognize the sacrifices the military has made in the course of their service for our nation. The letter noted that there are over 10,500 disabled veterans in New York State.

“As a disabled veteran myself, I fully understand the impact that the naming of this bridge would have. It is with great appreciation of the Senate and in particular Senator Greg Ball, that I laud this project,” said Eugene Parotta, Chairman of Senator Ball’s Veterans Advisory Council. “A constant reminder of our disabled veterans is always a good thing. Thanks to the determination of the Disabled American Veterans, this has finally come to fruition.”

The legislation was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.

For more information, please contact jbachmei@nysenate.gov or (845) 531-9796

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SENATOR GREG BALL SECURES $60,000 TO COMBAT HEROIN ADDICTION IN SCHOOLS

 

 

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Brewster, N.Y. – (7/03/14) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has secured $60,000 of state funding to combat opioid and heroin addition in local schools. The New York State Legislature recently approved the funding for Peers Influence Peers Partnership, a non-profit aimed at providing opportunities for youth to use their influence with their peers to make healthy life style choices.

“The epidemic of heroin addiction plaguing our communities must be confronted head on. It is sickening to read and hear of the countless deaths in our community. It is crucial to get to the kids before it is too late,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I’m excited to have secured this funding for Peers Influence Peers Partnership, so they can get active in our schools and teach our students about the dangers of these substances to help combat this epidemic.”

Senator Ball secured a total of six $10,000 grants that the program will use to visit several Putnam County High Schools including Putnam Valley, Mahopac, Brewster, Lakeland, Walter Panas and Carmel.

“Heroin and other opiate addiction is a problem that is visiting communities all across the country. Peers Influence Peers has worked this past year on the production of a documentary film, ‘Chasing It’ which looks at this explosive issue,” said Frank Reale, President of Peers Influence Peers Partnership. “I am very grateful of Senator Ball for securing these grants for us to use to reach out to local high school students and their parents in an effort to raise awareness of such issues.”

Peers Influence Peers plans on visiting the six schools to show the documentary “Chasing It”, which explores the dangerous heroin and opioid epidemic. The funds will also go toward reaching out to students to get involved in other issues that raise concern, such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

“I want to share my gratitude to Senator Ball for this opportunity to partner with Frank Reale, a Putnam Valley community member who has dedicated himself to inspiring and motivating young people who struggle to find their way in a challenging environment,” said Superintendent Frances Wills of Putnam Valley Central School District. “This grant will allow the District to work with parents and the community in order to portray the devastating effects of teen heroin abuse. Peers Influence Peers’ disturbing and powerful documentary will be used as a key component of our broader goal to prevent student drug use and intervene when it becomes an obstacle to student learning and social interaction.”

“We want to thank the Senator for providing us with the opportunity to present film and forum and be able to work with Peers Influence Peers. This grant will provide us with the opportunity to continue educating our students about the critical issues of prescription abuse and heroin addiction,” said Superintendent Dr. George Stone of Lakeland Central School District.

Senator Greg Ball has also teamed up with two local families who recently lost their sons to drug addiction. The Christiansen and Salomone families have organized a group titled, “Drug Crisis In Our Backyard.” Their mission is to promote awareness and provide resources and support to those individuals and their families affected by drug addiction.

“We are very excited and encouraged to learn of this great step that Senator Ball has made for the cause of fighting the Heroin and Opiate epidemic we are facing,” said Steven Salomone of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. “The Peers influence Peers group in particular provides a very strong tool in the battle of addiction because they are about education in order to prevent drug use, which is the most powerful way to get ahead of this growing problem. The earlier we can reach these kids the more powerful the effect can be. Let’s keep this momentum going!”

“Thank you Senator Greg Ball and Peers Influence Peers! I truly believe that one of the most important ways to combat this epidemic of heroin & opiate addiction plaguing our communities, is through Peer to Peer,” said Carol Christiansen, Co-Founder of Drugs Crisis In Our Backyard. “Young people can show other young people that it can be ‘Cool’ not to use drugs.”

For more information, please contact jbachmei@nysenate.gov or (845) 531-9796

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THE COURIER: GREG BALL’S FAREWELL DINNER BENEFITS DISABLED VETERAN

UntitledBy: ERIC GROSS

Like him or hate him, State Senator Greg Ball did it his way!

Ball, who will be leaving office at the end of the year after serving for a decade in Albany, hosted a farewell dinner last week in Mahopac that benefited a disabled Vietnam veteran’s home renovations.

More than 200 people were on hand at the Mahopac FD headquarters for the event, which was tabbed “Thanks for ‘Getting it Done!’”

Ball received applause after telling the dinner guests: “It has been a great honor to serve the people of our community for these years. The journey has been fruitful and I am thrilled to have my final project something as meaningful as assisting a disabled veteran.”

The evening raised more than $20,000 to renovate the home of Private Dan Flanigan of Pawling. Flanigan, a 100 percent service-connected disabled veteran, was selected after a thorough vetting process by the Purple Heart Homes Association, a non-profit based in North Carolina that provides housing solutions for disabled vets.

Flanigan lives on a fixed income and is struggling to make ends meet. His home, located near the Patterson- Pawling line, is over 100 years old and in dire need of repairs.

Thanks to the efforts of the senator, the national organization and generous business people including contractors, the Flanigan home is undergoing a major renovation. (ARTICLE)

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