Local Veterans, including Jim Banda, Honored At Wilmington Veterans Gala

WILMINGTON, MA — The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Unit 110 Tewksbury hosted its First Annual Veterans Gala at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus last weekend.

Over 150 people packed the hall, and watched as multiple people were honored by Unit 110:

  • James Banda, former Wilmington Selectman, was honored with the Veteran Service Award.
  • The Gold Star Mothers Association of Massachusetts were given the Service to Veteran Families Award
  • The Dirty Water Legion Riders Motorcycle Club of Cambridge received the Service to Veterans Award.

Lou Cimaglia, Wilmington’s Veterans Agent, spoke about the need for more people to reach out and help veterans, and this was all backed up by Unit 110’s Commander Rich Hersom, Jr.’s presentation that implored the audience to give back to those who have served this country. Unit 110 is committed to telling the stories of local veterans and bring about awareness of the needs these men and women have daily.

There was also 36 raffle baskets, all donated by local companies and members of Unit 110, as well as 5 Caribbean vacations that were part of a silent auction. Thousands of dollars were raised, and every penny will be used by the unit to aid local veterans in Tewksbury and Wilmington.

State DAV Auxiliary Commander AnnMarie Hurley attended along with all the other line officers from the Auxiliary Department of MA, and they presented a citation to Unit 110 for their success in helping veterans in the short time they have been chartered.

Unit 110 was chartered in 2015, and have already sponsored over 31 meals to veteran families in Wilmington and Tewksbury at Thanksgiving 2015 and 2016. They have run two very successful Cornhole tournaments where all money went to providing vets with gifts at Christmas time. And also hosted two Paint Nights to help fund the Thanksgiving Dinners.

The Gala was a great success — people danced and laughed until midnight, all donating to raffles and directly to the unit so we can continue our mission of making sure veterans have what they need to survive.

As he was leaving, James Banda was saluted by the Dirty Water Legion Riders group all the way to the door, and it was a very beautiful and emotional sentiment that left no dry eye in the room.

Each recipient was given a star shaped award (silver for James Banda and Dirty Water Riders, gold star was given to Gold Star Mothers).

State Rep. James Miceli also sent official Massachusetts State House of Representatives citations to be given to each recipient.

Anyone wishing to make donations to our Unit to help our mission may send checks to ‘DAV Auxiliary Unit 110’–15 Main St, Apt 11 North Reading, MA 01864.

Below are some photos from the event:

(NOTE: The above was submitted by The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Unit 110 Tewksbury.)

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