Thanking Those Who Serve at 15th Annual Council 4 Vets Picnic

Rocky Hill, CT, May 26, 2018 – Council 4 union members kicked off the 2018 Memorial Day weekend as they have since 2003: with a big “thank you” to state military veterans.

 Their thanks came in the form of the Council 4 Veterans Picnic at the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the event, which over the years has raised nearly $200,000 to improve programs and facilities on the Rocky Hill campus and to help other veterans’ organization around the state.

Marine veteran Ron Coveney expressed appreciation for Council 4’s efforts.

“Your union has always remembered us when very few do,” said Coveney, who serves as President of the Veterans Council at the Rocky Hill Home. “This event makes a big difference. It’s not just a barbecue.”

Anne Marie Sunderland, President of AFSCME Local 2930 (Newington Town and Board of Education) said she’s proud to be a volunteer at the event. “It’s a way to give back to our veteran for everything they’ve done for us,” she said.

“This is just a great day,” added Tim Sunderland, who serves on the Local 2930 Executive Board.

 According to Council 4 Veterans Committee Chairman Steve Curran, the union has raised nearly $200,000 since the picnic’s inception in 2003. Those funds have enabled the donation of a new gymnasium with aerobic flooring, flat screen televisions for the lounge, computers and work stations, and picnic tables and rocking chairs, as well the renovation of the baseball field at the Veterans Home.

Council 4’s veterans outreach initiative has also resulted in contributions to other veterans’ advocacy organizations, including Homes for the Braves in Bridgeport, Disabled American Veterans – Chapter 2 (New Haven), the CT Run for the Fallen, the Oasis Center at Central Connecticut State University and Torrington Veterans Services.

“I’ve never been in a war,” said Patricia Williamson, an Executive Board member of AFSCME Local 2663 (State P2 Human & Social Services). “This [picnic] is the least we can do for the veterans who sacrificed for us.”

Vietnam veteran Charles Frazier, who served in the Marine Corps, joined Coveney in thanking Council 4 for the picnic and the camaraderie.

“I think this is wonderful,” Frazier said while enjoying barbecued pulled pork and other fixings. “You’re right on time. Thanks to AFSCME.”

Thanks to all our members who volunteered their time to make this event possible, including the Council 4 Veterans Committee: Steve Curran, Local 1565 (retired); Jay Bartolomei, Local 714; Dana Beecham-Brown, Local 749; Claudine Wilkins-Chambers, Local 3429; Joe Cirigliano, Local 2930; Sandy DeCampos, Local 991; Marie DeSousa, Local 391 (retired); Dwight Frederick, Local 714; Aldo Godenzi, Local 184; Derek Puorro, Local 1361; Richard Rivera, Local 1161; and Mark Rizzo, Local 1471.