Seven elected officials in the lower Hudson Valley region served dinner to guests at a recent fundraising event for veterans housing at the Landmark Inn in Warwick NY.
Described as “Public servants serving the public” the At Your Service event included NY State Senator Mike Martucci; NY State Assemblyman Karl Brabanec; Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton; Florida Mayor Dan Harter, Jr.; Geenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer; and Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard. Later, David Rabbitts, Legislative Director from NY State Senator James Skoufis’s office joined the group, too.
The group was pressed into service for the event to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for America’s veterans, a cause that the Rumshock Veterans Foundation has been working on for the last three years, since its inception.
Each waiter team was given a specific table to serve a three-course dinner that included salad, rolls, butter; a dual entrée of salmon and steak with roasted potatoes and vegetables; and chocolate cake, coffee, and tea. In addition, the waiter-officials had to bus the tables, clearing the plates and silverware, while attending to the requests of guests who preferred fresh ground pepper, or additional rolls, or substitutions. After all the guests had been served, they could enjoy the dinner as well.
Terry Anderson, a guest at the dinner, is a former foreign correspondent in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He served as chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, as well as working as a newspaper editor, television and radio reporter and documentary producer. He is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, and author of the best-selling book, “Den of Lions,” recounting the seven years he was held hostage in Lebanon. “This event is a great example of another way in which we can help our veterans,” said Anderson, who went on to urge other residents of the Hudson Valley to keep Rumshock on their radar.
Rumshock Veterans Foundation, a nonprofit founded in February 2019 to provide military members with post-service support, received $400,000 that was secured and announced by New York State Sen. Jen Metzger’s office in 2019. In 2022, NY State Sen. Mike Martucci, who had succeeded Metzger, continued the effort to secure the grant, which will be used to acquire property in one of Orange County’s first affordable housing projects for veterans, in Port Jervis.
There are five components to the Foundation’s sustainable program: 1) Rumshock Village, a tiny residential community of affordable housing for veterans; 2) hydroponic farming, maintained by Village residents; 3) transportation to assist Village residents in making appointments to healthcare providers and other necessities; 4) e-waste recycling, involving the recovery of materials to be used in future production; and 5) canine companionship, for emotional support.