Illuminating a community that cares

To the Editor:
The Helderberg Kiwanis would like to express our appreciation to everyone who helped make the Hilltown Memorial Day Parade possible.

Thank you to Veterans of Foreign Wars Boyd Hilton Post 7062 for leading the way and providing the flag ceremony and the salute. Thank you to Boy Scout Troop 79 for handling the flag ceremony. Thank you to the members of the fire companies and ambulance squads for  bringing their equipment and their members.

Thank you to all the organizations who built the floats and brought them out in the pouring rain. Thank you to the members of the Antique Military Preservation Vehicles. Thank you to the Hilltown Seniors and their fleet of Model As. Thank you to the horseback riders and the Pony Pals 4-H Club, whose enthusiasm was  not dampened by the weather.

The support of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District was vital to us, from Dr. Timothy Mundell and his tech and grounds teams to the use of the auditorium to keep ceremony attendees from freezing in the unseasonable cold.

Those attendees included three local veterans of World War II — Robert Giebitz, Milton Hart, and Michael Willsey. Mrs. Caitlyn Cranker and Lt. Commander Nathan Stempel explained the school’s (and community’s) commitment to supporting its veterans, past and present. Thank you to Lt. Commander Nathan Stempel for making his flag presentation to the school part of the ceremony. 

A special thank-you goes to John Zelenak, who organized, directed, edited, and broadcast the parade and the ceremony over YouTube, and recorded it for posterity. If you missed it, he has prepared for YouTube a condensed version; check it out at

Most of all, thank you to our wonderful Hilltown community, which has hung together and supported each other. As John Zelenak put it, “[The parade] was an awesome event that illuminates a community that cares about one another.” Well said!

Zenie Gladieux

2021 Parade Chair

Kiwanis Club of

The Helderbergs

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