Southwest FL – MOAS members, spouses, and guests gathered at Michael’s on East on Sunday, December 9th for the 30th Annual MOAS Winter Gala and it was an evening of special and wonderful events. Uniforms, tuxedos, military decorations, and beautiful dresses and gowns were everywhere to be seen, and many attendees brought toys or cash donations for Toys for Tots.
The Sarasota HS JROTC Color Guard opened the formal part of the evening by posting the Colors, followed by the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. MOAS members proposed a series of traditional toasts, which was followed by an excellent Michael’s on East dinner.
After dinner, Lt Col Jim Conner, President of the Florida Council Of Chapters installed the 2013 MOAS Officers and Directors: COL John O’Brien, USA, President; LT George Tracy, USN, 1st VP; LTC Thomas Piazze, USA, 2nd VP; Mrs. Dee Lovell, Secretary; Mrs. Christa Friedlander, Treasurer; Col. Linda Gould, USA, Director; Mrs. Claire Power, Director; LT Alan Forrester, USN, Director, and Col Len Friedlander, USAF, Immediate Past President.
President O’Brien presented the 2012 Aubrey S. Newman Winter Warrior Award to BG Jim Hesson for his distinguished service as a member of the Military Officer’s Association of Sarasota (MOAS) since 1999. He has served on the MOAS Board in several different positions and has been heavily involved in the Support our Troops program, working tirelessly to insure “Care Packages” are sent to our
soldiers and marines serving in combat zones. He has been cited by the MOAA National President for sending well over 5,000 packages and raising over $10,000.00 for mailing and special needs for our deployed soldiers.
After thanking the outgoing Board of Directors and members for their support throughout the year, President O’Brien led the singing of the service songs and God Bless America. The room was then taken over by the folks dancing to the music of La Croix. Our thanks to Carol O’Brien, Elke Scott, Pat McLean & Christa Friedlander for their outstanding work on reservations, seating, decorations and overall coordination to make the gala a success.
It was just a great night and we are already looking forward to another – in just one year!
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