The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 8, 2012

Mike Pound: New York veterans reach out to help Joplin

Before I tell you about some great guys who are heading to Joplin, I need to make a correction. This morning’s breakfast for veterans at Eastmorland Elementary School, 1131 S. Highview Ave., will be served after the school assembly, which begins at 8 a.m., not at 7:30 a.m. as I wrote in Thursday’s column.

Now about those guys heading to Joplin.

After Hurricane Sandy, the New York hamlet of Mahopac was without power for eight days, and while the community didn’t suffer the major damage that some other areas did, there is still work to be done there.

So why were Joe Toleno and 10 other members of the town’s American Legion Post 1080 preparing to board a motor home Thursday evening to drive to Joplin?

“We made a commitment,” Joe said when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

Joe was on his way to the Legion post when I called him Thursday. He said the group planned to leave Mahopac at 8 p.m.

“We’ll drive straight through,” he said. “When we stop for gas, we might get out and pick up a few things, but that’s about it.”

I first heard about Joe shortly after the May 2011 tornado. Howard Spiva told me about him. Howard is the commander of Joplin American Legion Post 13. After the tornado, the Joplin Legion post sent out a plea for donations to assist veterans and their families who were affected by the storm. The Mahopac Legion post responded in a big way, sending a truck loaded with supplies and cash to Joplin.

Joe, who was the commander of the Legion post at the time, said the donation to Joplin was a no-brainer.

“We were sitting one day having a few cocktails, and we saw it (news of the tornado) on TV,” he said. “I looked at the other guys and said, ‘We have to do something for the people out there!’ And the guys said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”

Joe said the residents of Mahopac donated supplies, and Legion volunteers collected them, boxed them up and sent them to Joplin. He said reaching out to others is something that comes naturally to the Legion.

“We happen to be very fortunate here to have a prosperous (American Legion) post, and we do a lot,” he said. “We help sponsor Boys State, and the Boys & Girls Club, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts. We sponsor two Legion baseball teams. It’s just something we do.”

The Mahopac contingent is coming to Joplin to take in the weekend’s Veterans Day activities. And the members aren’t coming to Joplin empty-handed. Their motor home is packed with supplies that will be used to put on a barbecue at noon Sunday at Memorial Hall for Joplin-area veterans and their families. Joe said he already has ordered hamburger, hot dogs and Italian sausages from Cramer’s Rangeline Meat Co. in Joplin.

Joe said his Legion post was inspired, in part, by the way the Joplin American Legion and everyone else in Joplin responded to the tornado.

“They have become really, really great people to us here,” he said. “We just love them for what they do.”

I don’t know Joe well. I chatted with him for only about 20 minutes on the phone. But I sense that Joe and his buddies are a lot like the folks here in Joplin. Joe said that when the guys get back to Mahopac, they will get to work helping families hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Joe mentioned that he recently was honored in New York for his work on behalf of the American Legion. He said that when he received his award, he mentioned that people talked about his military service in Vietnam and other things in his background.

“But I said, ‘That’s not the issue. The issue is: What have I done lately? What have I done for the community?’” he said.

Yep, I’m thinking the folks in Joplin are going to like the folks from Mahopac.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pension funding improving, actuary reports

    An extra $1 million contribution by the city of Joplin last year to the Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund boosted the funding ratio of the plan by 2 percent, the plan’s actuary told the board Thursday morning.

    April 17, 2014

  • Special counsel to be appointed in ethics complaint against Neosho council members

    The Neosho Ethics Board on Wednesday voted to ask the City Council to appoint a special counsel to provide legal advice to the board’s remaining two members as they investigate a complaint against two members of the council.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Will new Earth-like planet have better cable offerings?

    When I read that astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, I had a couple of deep scientific questions. First: What’s the Wi-Fi like? And: Are their TV channels better than ours? Hey, I didn’t get an “Incomplete” in college astronomy for nothing.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Christian ministry plans Missouri camp expansion

    A nondenominational Christian ministry is planning a $21.5 million expansion on land it owns near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, with a goal of offering gatherings beyond the traditional summer camps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • Chairman of Neosho Ethics Board resigns

    The chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board unexpectedly resigned on Thursday as the board investigates a complaint against Neosho City Council members David Ruth and Steve Hart.

    April 17, 2014

  • CWEP receives top honor from national power group

    The Carthage Water and Electric Plant has received the top award for reliable electrical service from the American Public Power Association.

    April 17, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter