Rotary, Kiwanis team up to honor vets

Photo By: Charles So/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Charles So/Special To The Town Crier

Rotary Club member Ron Stefani leads the audience in a medley of military songs at the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs’ Nov. 8 luncheon honoring veterans.

In recognition of Veterans Day, members of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs of Los Altos honored more than 100 local veterans Thursday at a special luncheon at the Garden House in Shoup Park. Veterans young and old gathered to meet and renew acquaintances as they commemorated the observance.

Members of the local service clubs offered the visiting veterans the royal treatment. Upon entering the dining room, boutonnieres and floral decorations designated them as guests of honor.

Rick Miller, a U.S. Army veteran and student at Foothill College, expressed appreciation for the clubs’ support.

The service clubs invited the veterans who participate in the Veterans Resource Center at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.

Ron Stefani, who served in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps during the Vietnam War, led attendees in a round of songs representing each branch of the military.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Rotary member Paul Schutz presented a solemn address honoring Marine Cpt. Matthew Manoukian, a Los Altos Hills resident killed in action in Afghanistan last August.

Jack Kelly, a U.S. Air Force veteran and current Rotary president, discussed the importance of supporting and mentoring veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Kelly often visits the center to chat with veterans and ask how the Rotary Club can support them.

The Rotary Club sponsored a Nov. 2 fundraiser to purchase Smartpens for the center. The pens can record everything the user writes and hears, and wirelessly transmit the data to a digital account, a useful tool for veterans returning to academics.

“The support we have gotten from the Rotary over the years is so overwhelming,” said Carmela Xuereb, program coordinator at the Veterans Resource Center. “I can’t say thank you enough to them.”

Beth Stolyarchuk, a Marine veteran and new student at Foothill College, said the veteran recognition event was “heartfelt” and that she enjoyed it.

Charles H. So is a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraqi surge in 2007-2009. He is currently interning at the Town Crier.

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