Raymond Denisewich is used to wearing multiple hats.
First, he’s the Service Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Rhode Island Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Saturday, though, Denisewich was wearing two hats; the first as Adjutant-Treasurer of the Giovanni Folcarelli Disabled American Veterans Chapter 1 and second as Master of Ceremonies for the group’s annual Installation of Officers.
In keeping with tradition, the impressive installation was filled with military-like pomp and circumstance, reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the National Anthem and “God Bless America” and accordion music by Chapter 1’s own Gudye Lombari.
Even staffers of Ralph’s Kitchen, which is based at the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812, heaped words of praise upon Denisewich for making the ceremony extra special. Unlike previous years, the Folcarelli Chapter 1 repeated history Saturday, as John “Jack” Hill Sr. was re-elected and re-installed as the DAV group’s Commander and Linda Folcarelli – who is a Past District Commander – was also re-elected and will again lead the DAV Auxiliary Unit No. 1 as Commander for 2018.
James “Jim” Burrows, of Warwick who serves as the DAV Department of Rhode Island Commander, was on hand to install the Folcarelli Chapter officers Saturday.
Office holders for 2018 are: Hill, as Commander; Santo J. LoBuono, Senior Vice Commander; Thomas Rotella, Junior Vice Commander; Denisewich, Adjutant- Treasurer; Maria Helena Peixoto, Chaplain and Robert Arrico, First Year Trustee.
“I’m proud to serve as Commander for a second year,” Hill told the membership during the fun-filled dinner. Congratulations to Ray (Denisewich) on doing another great job with today’s ceremony.”
There was more DAV royalty at Saturday’s installation, as Fran Costa – Past National Commander of the DAV Auxiliary – issued the oaths of office to Linda Folcarell’s fine slate.
The Auxiliary Unit 1 officers for 2018 in addition to Folcarelli as Commander are: Deborah Burrows, Senior Vie Commander; Lee Ann Erickson, Junior Vice Commander; Donna Folcarelli, Adjutant-Treasurer; Ann M. Schatz, Judge Advocate; Susan Denisewich, Sergeant-at-Arms; Done M. Pariseau, Chaplin and Lorraine M. Boisvert, Patriotic Instructor.
“We’re all proud of the DAV,” Denisewich told an attentive audience during his closing remarks. “We’re a leading non-profit veterans organization with 1.3 million members located in 1,300 chapters throughout the country. Our Chapter (1) has 450 members and meets at 3 p.m., on the third Wednesday of each month here at the (Kelley-Gazzerro) Post; you’re welcomed to attend the meetings.”
He also announced Chapter 1 will again host an Oldies Dinner Dance on Saturday, Aug. 4 at the VFWE Post and tickets have been priced at $30 per person.
“Last year’s dinner dance was a huge success and sold out,” Denisewich related. “Ralph’s Kitchen always does a great, great job for all of our events and this year we’ll have music by Tony Weaver.”
The Aug. 4 fund-raiser will also feature a huge liquor basket raffle with proceeds going directly to help veterans and their families.
“Last year, many of you may recall, Chapter 1 donated over $5,000 to veterans and their families and the Providence VA Medical Center in Providence. We’d like to surpass that number this year.”