Jan-Feb 2020

Patriots, Associates & Auxiliary Members,

Hoping you all had a Merry Christmas and are gearing up for a happy and prosperous New Year!  It’s the season where we spend time with family and friends and thank the Lord for the gift of life.  To those who have lost family or friends this past year our prayers are with you and hope they carry you as you move forward.  Hoping for a spectacular 2020, where some of your dreams and goals come true!

Thank you for all your help and support this past year, as a Chapter we were superb, as always and achieved many goals -- not the least of which was installing two new entities in our Purple Heart family.  Chapter 776 leads the state in firsts regarding Purple Heart entities from school district to sheriff’s office to state trail and now trade organizations and businesses.  These entities have been strong supporters, not only in funding but being part of our Chapter programs, which lets the community know who we are and what we do!  We will continue in this endeavor for as long as our members are able and willing to make it happen.

Our Pearl Harbor dinner & holiday social was once again a fantastic event attended by about 50 members and guests.  The prime rib and chicken buffet with vegetables, dessert and tea/soft drinks were outstanding!  We ambushed Zig Laska with a Distinguished Service plaque in recognition of his faithful support of the Chapter and also installed our two newest entities.  It was a distinct pleasure to welcome the Citrus County Building Alliance as our first Purple Heart trade organization and Nature Coast Financial Advisors, owned and operated by Gary Marriage Jr., as our first Purple Heart business organization.  They are two very strong financial supporters of the Chapter and veterans in general.  

As always, we had our mini auction following the dinner which is always so much fun. The ladies donated various baked goods, fudge and decorations for the season, along with several other gifts provided by members.  The fudge is always a hit along with the cream cheese pound cake.  We also had a Purple Heart snowman decoration and some engraved travel mugs that garnered a lot of attention.  In fact, one strong supporter was extremely generous and wound up with both mugs for a very handsome contribution. Thank you Gary marriage Jr. for your unending generosity!!

A few of our members once again assisted with the Citrus County rodeo, which provides us the opportunity to use the Citrus County Auditorium for our upcoming Purple Heart Ceremony.  Two of our members, JB Haskins and Mike King, were recognized for their service contributions by the rodeo crowd.

Your CMDR and Adjutant Ebitz were in attendance for the bridge dedication in Homosassa in honor of the memory of Purple Heart recipient and community activist Jim Bitter. The state of the art bridge, which took over two years to complete, was dedicated to Jim for all his efforts to save the Homosassa River from further degradation and to make the Homosassa community a better place to live.  I gave a brief history of the Purple Heart in memory of Jim who was wounded in Korea.

There will be a DEC meeting in South Florida January 18 and 19 where we will be doing a review of the Department bylaws and conducting other Department business. Anyone desiring information about these meetings please see the Department website or give me a call.

Our next meeting is January 21 at 1 p.m. at the Citrus County Building Alliance in Lecanto.  Please make every effort to attend.  As filing dates have changed over the past couple of years, we need to prepare for elections of officers and filling vacant positions.  If you are willing and able to step up to any of these vacancies, please contact the Adjutant who will explain the duties required. They are not stressful jobs, but are important to the quality of our Chapter.

Once again thank you for your participation and support; the Chapter counts on it!  

 “Working for the benefit of all”

CMDR “Bud”

Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart, P.O. Box 1345, Lecanto, FL 34460-1345

Tel:  352-637-3265 or 352-382-3847               Email:   info@citruspurpleheart.org