Southwest FL - It was a special and wonderfully entertaining evening as MOAS members, spouses, and guests gathered at Michael’s on East on Sunday, December 14th for the Chapter’s 32nd Annual Winter Gala. The ballroom was beautifully decorated; uniforms, tuxedos, military decorations, and beautiful dresses and gowns were everywhere to be seen; and the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots boxes overflowed with dump trucks, dolls, teddy bears and pandas.
The Booker High School JROTC Color Guard, under the direction of LTC Ben Weiss, opened the formal part of the evening by parading and posting the Colors, followed by the playing of the National Anthem and the invocation by Chaplain Caudill. Traditional toasts were proposed by MOAS members to the President, Uniformed Services, POWs and MIAs, MOAA Members and their guests, Allied Nations, Fallen Comrades and Spouses.
After thanking the outgoing Board of Directors and members for their support throughout the year, President Scott presented MOAA Presidential Awards to Christa Friedlander and Claire Power for their outstanding work for MOAS during the past several years, and Col Len Friedlander was honored with the Martin Hertz Lifetime Community Service Award.
After the Awards presentations Col Len Friedlander, USAF, Southwest Area Vice-President of the Florida Council Of Chapters installed the 2015 MOAS Officers and Directors: LT George Tracy, USN, President; RADM Brian McCarthy, USN, 1st VP; COL Linda Gould, USA, 2nd VP; Col Craig Hullinger, USMC, Secretary; Mrs. Christa Friedlander, Treasurer; Col Christopher White, USA, Director; Mrs. Claire Power, Director; LT Alan Forrester, USN, Director; and COL Troy Scott, USAR, Immediate Past Col Friedlander then presented the 2014 MOAA Five Star Level of Excellence Award to the chapter, and he, COL Scott and LT Tracy attached the award streamer to the Chapter Flag. President George Tracy led the singing of the service songs and God Bless America to end the evening’s program. The room was then taken over by the by the folks dancing to the music of La Croix.
Our thanks to Elke Scott, Pat McLain, Carol O’Brien & Christa Friedlander for their outstanding work on decorations, reservations, seating and overall coordination to make MOAS is the Sarasota Chapter of Military Officers Association of America. MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers with 370,000 members. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. For more information visit, www.sarasotamoaa.com.
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A grand time was had by all. Thank everyone for their work on this fine event.
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