GENESEO, N.Y., Nov. 27, 2023 – Veterans from throughout Livingston County were saluted last week at a special event as the Livingston County Veteran Services Office teamed up with Veterans One Stop of Western New York and the nationally-ranked SUNY Geneseo men’s ice hockey team for Veterans Appreciation Knight on November 21st inside the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena.
The event, which pitted the fifth-ranked Knights against the Elmira College Soaring Eagles, was an opportunity for the community to come together and support current and former members of our nation’s armed services.
“I want to thank everyone who helped to make this event possible,” said David Terry, Director of the Livingston County Veteran Services Office. “Our veterans have given so much to our communities and it’s wonderful to see the community come together to support them in return. I want to thank Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Dani Drews, head coach Chris Schultz and the entire SUNY Geneseo family for their collaboration and support of our mission to provide outstanding service and recognition to our veterans.”
The afternoon started with a tailgate party honoring all veterans in attendance including dinner. From there, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office directed the color guard presentation before Terry and his family took part in a ceremonial puck drop.
During the first intermission, David L. LeFeber, Chair of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, was on hand to present United States Army Veteran, Paul Straton, a Maintenance Supervisor with Geneseo who is responsible for the campus ice arena among other facets of the campus, a Certificate of Appreciation as the County’s Veteran of the Month for November. During the second intermission, New York State Senator Pamela Helming (54th Senate District) and New York State Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (133rd District) presented proclamations to United States Air Force Veteran, Dr. Timothy DeRuyter, DDS and United States Navy Veteran, Timothy Cornell, both of who are active in supporting the Geneseo Ice Knight program.
Throughout the evening, pre-registered veterans were given gift cards to local establishments and gas cards by way of free raffles. On the ice, the team wore special military-themed jerseys that were donated by Special Tees in Geneseo. Game-worn jerseys were part of a silent auction throughout the night, which raised over $3,600 that will be donated to the County’s veteran services office.
“The evening was a resounding success,” added Terry. “It was an honor to team up with the campus to recognize our veteran population. It was a night to bring veterans together with their families, showcase great local hockey and provide a platform for veteran comradery and recognition. The local hockey community from Livingston Blues Youth Hockey to SUNY Geneseo hockey is like a family and many veterans are part of it. SUNY Geneseo exemplifies community and embraces the veteran population and Livingston County through Veterans One Stop Center and its PFC Joseph P. Dwyer program continues to bring the veteran community closer together."
Learn more about upcoming events and more by visiting the Livingston County Veteran Services Office website or by calling (585) 243-7960.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is home to more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.