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RED CROSS STILL MAKES EX-GIS BLUE

Mail call time. Share the fun, fury and information . . .

Jeannine Higgins of South Buffalo wrote, "We are planning the Fourth Annual 'Get Together' to benefit the South Buffalo Community Table, a local soup kitchen that serves over 100 meals a day to those in need. This is the Table's largest annual fund raiser. Over 600 people came last year, and this has become an annual tradition for many."

The hope here is that the tads at the Irish Center will go to the fund raiser, which will be staged at the Ironworkers Hall in West Seneca from 7 p.m. to midnight April 1.

A reader with a long memory was not happy with a Sunday feature I did on the Red Cross. He said, "As an Army Air Corps veteran, who served in the CBI during World War II, I bought coffee and doughnuts from the Red Cross on more than one flight line in India. As you stated in your article, the Red Cross personnel told us that the Army forced them to charge for their wares. I do not know who persuaded the Army that this was the way to go, but I doubt if it was the British.

"Every major city in India had a canteen, run by a British Army Auxiliary unit. They never had much to offer, but all servicemen were welcome and not an anna (or rupee) was ever charged.

"I do not doubt that the Red Cross does some fine work during floods, etc., but I still remember what happened during World War II."

A Red Cross spokesman sent along a copy of the letter written to the Red Cross by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in 1942. In the letter Stimson told the Red Cross why they had to charge for their cigarettes, coffee, etc.

But the Red Cross people realize that no matter the publicity they got for the Stimson letter, it would not eradicate all the bad word-of-mouth publicity they have received from unhappy GIs since the end of World War II.

Emmanuel Fried of Buffalo wrote about his new play, "The Dodo Bird," which he hails as the culmination of his longtime desire to "bring together organized labor and the arts." He also said, "There is a very ironic twist in connection with the production of 'The Dodo Bird.' The play is being presented in the former Trico plant, where hundreds of workers had their jobs moved to Mexico."

William Bednarek of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service wrote, "On April 8, the U.S. Secret Service hockey team, of which I am a member, will play the Buffalo Sabres alumni at Buffalo State for charity. Over half our team is from the Buffalo area, and we would like our family and friends to come see us play."

Teams that want to play the Secret Service are asked to call Bednarek at (202) 634-2230.

Herb Huber of the Harvey D. Morin VFW Post 2940 wrote, "Possibly you could mention a fine gentleman and veteran in your column. He is John Menear, and though he is 81 years old, he is the most active member of our 47-man color guard from our post."

We should all salute a man who served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

Ed Cudney of Harrison Street sent along a notice that a boxing exhibition will be staged for the benefit of the Police Athletic League at 6:30 p.m. on March 29. A donation of $25 will get you a seat and some hors d'oeuvres.

The mention of that event will probably draw a letter of protest from another frequent contributor, Kenneth Rummenie. Rummenie does not favor any "sport" that sees two men trying to damage each other. Well, years ago I bought gloves for my sons when they were small and taught them how to box.

Several readers spoke to me about the St. Joseph's Table story that appeared here March 12. They were told that I owe a debt of gratitude to Kathy Mendoa and Mike Giancarlo, who sent me the research done by Rev. Richard Amico.

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