The highly active Giovanni Folcarelli Disabled American Veterans Chapter 1 nonprofit closed out 2019 with a special holiday happening.
For official purposes, the event was entitled Chapter 1’s annual Veterans Christmas Luncheon and held inside the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812, with a delicious dinner prepared and served by Spirito’s Restaurant and Catering.
Once Chapter 1 Chaplain Maria Helena Piexoto gave the opening prayer, Commander John “Jack” Hill delivered a moving welcome that praised each and every member for his or her untiring support and unmatched fundraising efforts.
Likewise, adjutant treasurer Raymond Denisewich followed with an impressive review of the past year’s charitable activities, which generated over $10,000 for needy veterans and their families.
“Your wonder work this year included $5,500 in donations to the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center in Providence,” Denisewich reiterated. “Also, $2,000 in support of the turkey donations we did at Thanksgiving and $2,800 in direct assistance to individual veterans and their families who are and have been in distress.”
Denisewich, while announcing that “the 70 veterans and their families who are the day’s special guests of honor because you took time out of your day to attend and honor our veterans and their families including our fallen comrades,” then paused before announcing a special tribute for Commander Gilbert A. “Gil” Botelho.
“I’m going to read you a letter from the grandchildren of our great and late Commander Gil,” Denisewich continued, as his voice cracked with emotion. “As you may or may not know, Gil would have been 91 years old in 2019; so, each of his three grandchildren donated $91 in his memory.”
To which Hill emphasized: “That’s certainly a special tribute for Gilbert who gave all of himself to this DAV Chapter; we all miss Commander Gil and what he did for the DAV in general.”
Meanwhile, Linda Folcarelli, who doubles as a member of the Johnston Town Council in District 1 and Commander of Chapter 1’s Women’s Auxiliary, added: “Gil and his wife always had a special presence and smile for every member of our Chapter; he was a wonderful person and even greater veteran who cared about people young and old alike.”
Guyde Lombari, who provided a variety of music on his new accordion, also highlighted the event.