FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Legislature to Hear from STAR Experts at Sept. 3 Meeting- Odell Urges Residents Seek Update on Exemptions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 26, 2013

Legislature to Hear from STAR Experts at Sept. 3 Meeting
Odell Urges Residents Seek Update on Exemptions

Representatives from the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF) will give a brief presentation to the Putnam County Legislature about the Basic School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption registration program during their Sept. 3 meeting. The re-registration is part of a new initiative to protect New Yorkers against inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions.

NYSDTF Southern Regional Director John Wolham said those already registered for the STAR exemption will have to re-register.

“Resident homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption must register again in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years,” Wolham said. “They will not have to re-register every year.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell would remind resident homeowners to check out all exemptions they may be entitled to use.

“I would ask that all resident homeowners check to see if they qualify for further tax reductions,” said Odell. “You may be eligible for additional tax relief from exemptions such as the Aged All Exemption for those who are 65 years of age or older and who meet the low income requirement.”

Odell said senior homeowners must re-apply annually for their Enhanced STAR benefit and participate in the Income Verification Program. She noted there are other exemptions including those available to Putnam veterans who own homes.

“There are veteran exemptions for those who are honorably discharged from military service and who served in combat situations or were disabled. It’s important that everyone know that these exemptions exist,” Odell said.  

Homeowners presently receiving the Basic STAR exemption for 2013 should receive a letter in the mail along with complete instructions on how to re-register. The letters are scheduled to be mailed out during the week of September 9 -13. The letters will include a STAR code that homeowners will need in order to register.

“The fastest and easiest way for homeowners to register is through the Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov,” Wolham said. “They will need to have their STAR code and provide some basic information about their eligibility.”

Wolham said along with knowing their code, homeowners will have to confirm the property address; provide names and Social Security numbers for all owners of the property and spouses; confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of the owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption); confirm that the combined income of the owners and their spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000; and confirm that no resident owner receives a residency-based tax exemption from another state.

Those unable to register online can register by phone at (518) 457-2036.

Resident homeowners applying for STAR for the first time will not be affected by this year’s registration procedure. New applicants must use Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption which is available on the Tax Department’s website and then file the application with their local assessor.

Registration opened August 19, 2013 and will continue through December 31, 2013. Homeowners who have not registered by deadline will receive reminders in December and January 2014. In February, Wolham said the Tax Department will notify assessors and give them the names of homeowners who failed to register or who were determined to be ineligible for STAR.

 “These homeowners will then have the right to a an administrative review by the Tax Department, and review before the State Board of Real Property Tax Services,” Wolham said.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Putnam, Mercy College Partner in Leadership Alliance, County Leaders and College Faculty Gather for Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 23, 2013

Putnam, Mercy College Partner in Leadership Alliance
County Leaders and College Faculty Gather for Announcement 

Leaders from Putnam County and Mercy College School of Business gathered last Thursday at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac to announce their collaboration in offering undergraduate and graduate courses within Putnam County.

In welcoming the elite faculty and staff from Mercy’s Dobbs Ferry campus, County Executive MaryEllen Odell noted Putnam is a county of first responders and the two classes now being offered would enhance emergency preparedness among first responders and stakeholders within the business community. She reminded those gathered to welcome Mercy College that bringing higher learning to Putnam also fulfilled a campaign promise she made to her constituents.   

“This is a first for Putnam County,” Odell said. “Through our collaboration with Mercy, we can now offer an undergraduate Certificate Program in Corporate and Homeland Security and a 12-month graduate program where participants can earn a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Emergency Management and Security. In reaching out to the private sector and inviting them to participate, we are transforming not only the educational process but our approach to handling emergencies.” 

Mercy College School of Business Dean Dr. Ed Weis presented an overview of Mercy’s innovative approach to education and explained why, after a career in the business world, he chose to return to the field of education.

After graduating college at age 17, Weis said he went on to earn a master’s degree in Accounting, a law degree and his Ph.D. in Finance by age 24. While completing these degrees, Weis said he worked as a teaching assistant. Discouraged by the approach to teaching business he had encountered, Weis left teaching for successful careers at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. He said when he chose to return to the teaching profession, he meant to change how business was taught.

“The teaching process had to change,” said Dr. Weiss. “I saw from my own experience as a student learning from Ph.D.s who had no experience in the business world that a new framework for educating had to be put into place. As a teacher, I wanted to become a facilitator in a team building process of education.”

Weis’ framework included bringing into the classroom as teachers some of the most successful business world leaders. 

Weiss said he was truly excited about the end result of The Leadership Alliance program.

“This program’s end result is to have a working plan ready to be executed. This approach is a first,” he said.

The working plan Weis referred to is the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP). The MJHMP will identify risks while developing mitigation, preparedness and response plans.

Bruce Walker brought almost 20 years of emergency management experience in private industry with him when he became Putnam’s deputy county executive in November of 2011. Working to form ties between the public and private sector was not in his field of expertise. 

“That changed once I took office and the County Executive gave us our charge of creating these kinds of partnerships,” he said.

It didn’t take Walker long to build those kinds of strong working relationships and when Super Storm Sandy struck, response from the whole was, in his words, “truly excellent.” Still, there were lessons that were learned. In meetings held post-Sandy, problems were identified and documented. Among the suggestions made in these follow-up discussions were the ideas of training stakeholders from the private sector together with those from the municipalities and having in place a working plan that would be “cutting edge in the industry.”

Several faculty members involved in teaching the courses were present as were representatives from stakeholder businesses. Among the Mercy staff in attendance were Dr. Matthew Miraglia, director of Mercy’s Corporate and Homeland Security program, Victoria Roberts Drogin, Esq., executive director of the School of Business, Professor Christopher Salute, associate dean of the School of Business, Assistant Professor Benjamin Manyindo and Dr. Gazmen Xhudo.

Stakeholder businesses in attendance included Putnam Hospital Center, the Paladin Center, Central Hudson Gas & Electric and New York State Gas & Electric as were representatives from Putnam’s Bureau of Emergency Services.

Courses will begin on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 and will be held at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center in Carmel.

For registration information, call 877-MERCY-GO or e-mail: admissions@mercy.edu.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell Urges Residents to Attend Memorial Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 21, 2013

CORRECTION: Please note the phone number for Peggy Bruen has been corrected below. It should read: (845) 279-2400.

Odell Urges Residents to Attend Memorial Event

The American Cancer Society will host a dinner to honor the memory of long time volunteer Marilyn K. Bruen on Wednesday, August 28 starting at 6 p.m. The event was the brainchild of her children and grandchildren and will be held at McGrath’s Tavern, 146 E. Main St (Rte 22), in Pawling, NY where Marilyn’s grandson Tommy Stevens is a chef.

“Although physically challenged, Marilyn Bruen spent her life working for and giving to others through her many volunteer efforts. The American Cancer Society was at the top of her list and she worked tirelessly on their behalf for decades,” said Odell. “I certainly hope the many friends she left behind will support this wonderful memorial event her family has planned.” 

Marilyn passed away at age 80 on Sept. 18, 2011. She served as the Crusade Chairperson for the Putnam County Unit of the ACS and was known for her boundless energy and determination to raise funds to help those battling cancer and to support efforts to find cures for the disease that took her mother’s life and, eventually, her own.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person and may be purchased by calling Peggy Bruen at (845) 279-2400 or by calling McGrath’s Tavern at (845) 855-0800. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mercy College and Putnam County Partner to Form Leadership Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

Media Contact
Catherine Cioffi
Associate Director
Public Relations
Office (914) 674-7736
Cell (914) 954-5579
CCioffi3@Mercy.edu

Mercy College and Putnam County Partner to Form Leadership Alliance

 

Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. – August 20, 2013-  Mercy College and Putnam County, NY have partnered to form The Leadership Alliance, which provides educational programs for Putnam County leaders.  The Leadership Alliance is open to leaders in county government, municipal departments, school districts and private businesses, and will be taught by former leaders from the private and public sectors who are now professors at Mercy College.     

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, and Mercy College School of Business Dean Dr. Ed Weis, will host a kick-off reception and press conference on Thursday, August 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY where details of the program will be announced. 

The Leadership Alliance will get underway with two programs. First, Mercy College will offer a 12-month program, starting in October 2013, where students will earn a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership focused on Emergency Management and Security.  As part of the program Mercy College professors will assist Putnam County leaders in developing the County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP).  The MJHMP will identify risk, develop mitigation plans, preparedness plans and response plans.

Second, in January 2014, Mercy College will begin offering a Certificate Program in Corporate and Homeland Security to Putnam County community leaders.  The program will provide 15 undergraduate credits toward a bachelor’s degree.  The Certificate Program will run concurrently with the master’s degree program and will also be integrated with the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Dr. Weis says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for leaders in Putnam County to collaborate with our faculty of former business and community leaders to tackle some of the county’s challenging issues.”

Odell says, “My administration is looking to the future. This public-private partnership with Mercy College is an unprecedented opportunity. As I promised, we are bringing higher education to Putnam County. We are excited about the high level of interest expressed so far in these programs.  In this day in age, disaster preparedness skills are essential. The training being offered will insure we have a critically trained team of first responders in place. We are thrilled to be able to offer an in-house means for Putnam County leaders to further educate themselves within our borders.”

Courses will begin on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center in Carmel.

About Mercy College
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs within five prestigious schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring.  www.mercy.edu/ 877-MERCY-GO.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mahopac Man Honors Wife by Hosting Breast Cancer Benefit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

August 08, 2013

Mahopac Man Honors Wife by Hosting Breast Cancer Benefit

A Mahopac resident and several other members of the Westchester Chapter of Iron Order Motorcycle Club will host the first annual Breast Cancer Benefit and Motorcycle Run on Saturday, August 24 starting at noon at the Claddagh Bar & Grill, 925 Route 6 in Mahopac, NY.

Among those to be honored is Manny Leggio’s wife, Daniella, who lost her battle against breast cancer last February.

“We all know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. For me, it was my wife. But it might be someone else’s mother, aunt or sister,” said Leggio. “Holding an event like this, it’s the only thing we, the survivors, can do.”

Iron Order’s President Michael Cavaluzzi has also been affected by the disease. He lost his wife, sister and mother to breast cancer.

“The Westchester Chapter is honoring close family members of our organization that have been victims of this disease and we are joining in the battle to fight against breast cancer,” he said.

Odell is no stranger to fundraising motorcycle rides and has participated in several this summer.

“This is just another example of the generosity and support that the ‘bike’ community offers when they see someone in need,” Odell said. “I was lucky enough to participate in the ride for the Blythesdale Children’s Hospital as well as the Purple Heart ride, both benefitting terrific causes.” 

A relatively new member of the Iron Order club, Leggio said he had been a longtime motorcycle enthusiast and was first introduced to the club by a friend a few years ago. 

“I hung out with the club a couple of times,” he said. “They were just a great bunch of guys. This was like Boy Scouts for men.”

When Leggio learned the Iron Order wanted to open a Westchester County branch, he “just went with it.” 

Leggio now serves as the chapter’s vice-president and feels quite at home among the membership, many of whom are, as Leggio is, in law enforcement. Leggio works as a narcotics detective in the New York Police Department. But the club, he said, has plenty of non-law enforcement members as well.

“We are a law enforcement support group but we have military and retired and just plain, old  regular Joe’s,” he said.

The Iron Order spends a great deal of its time fundraising for various projects, something Leggio learned as he became more familiar with the group.

“I would be willing to bet that motorcycle clubs raise more funds for various causes than are donated by major corporations,” he said. 

Saturday’s fundraiser will consist of a 30-mile motorcycle run up Rte 6 to Rte 301 and over to Rte 9A by the Bear Mountain Bridge. There they will turn around and retrace their ride back to the Claddagh where Two Fisted Law and The Hat City Ramblers are donating their musical talents for the entire event. 

For the price of $20 per person or $30 per couple, attendees can enjoy free food and a cash bar. Vendors will be present selling such things as T-shirts and jewelry, while tattoo and piercing artists will be available to do their thing. And don’t forget the Coors Light Girls. They’ll be there, too. 

“But 100 percent of the funds raised will go to fight breast cancer,” Leggio said.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell, Mercy College Dean Partner Form Leadership Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

August 19, 2013

Odell, Mercy College Dean Partner Form Leadership Alliance

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Dr. Ed Weis, Dean of the Mercy College School of Business have invited key stakeholders from government and municipal departments, school districts and private businesses to participate in a Leadership Alliance, a partnership between Putnam County and Mercy College designed to improve the area’s collective ability to prepare for and respond to significant hazardous events.

Odell and Weis will host a kick-off reception and press conference on Thursday, August 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY where they will announce their collaborative measure and offer a high level overview of the innovative program.

The Leadership Alliance is a pilot program where a representative from each of the 20 key stakeholders will participate. The end result of this 12-month program will be that each representative will earn a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership focused on Emergency Management and Security.

“The County’s purpose in partnering with Mercy College in this manner is to provide the region with a critically trained team of first responders who already know each other and each other’s organizations and can design and facilitate a smooth and well-defined approach to responding to an event, be it man-made or one dealt by Mother Nature such as last year’s Hurricane Sandy,” said Odell.

The objective and work product of this endeavor will assist in the development of Putnam County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP).

Odell said the MJHMP process will include identifying risk, developing mitigation plans and establishing preparedness and response plans. She said having this sort of plan in place in the near future can open the way for grant funding opportunities later. 

“The development and filing of this plan with the state and federal government is a requirement for certain grant funding opportunities for organizations within the region,” Odell said.  

Courses will begin on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center in Carmel.

Now, as Dean of the Business Program at Mercy’s School of Business, Dr. Weis enjoys having a blank canvas upon which he can “try to create an optimal business education for students” where they can learn business from leaders in their field by doing business with other leaders in the profession. 

The course will be managed by Dr. Matthew Miraglia, a highly decorated former police detective and member of New York State Zone 3 Counter Terrorism Intelligence Task Force where he served as a Field Intelligence Officer. Dr. Miraglia is presently the Director of the Corporate and Homeland Security Program at Mercy College’s School of Business.  He and his team of subject matter experts from Mercy College and industry will be participating in teaching the class and guiding the development of the MJHMP.

Dr. Weis also announced that Mercy College and Putnam County will offer a new Certificate Program.

“Beginning in January 2014, Mercy College and Putnam County will be offering a Certificate Program in Corporate and Homeland Security,” he said. “This program will provide 15 undergraduate credits toward a Bachelor’s degree.”

By design, the Certificate Program will run concurrently with the Master’s degree program and interact with that offering accordingly in order to develop the MJHMP. It is anticipated that the Certificate Program will include approximately 20 participants and involve additional key stakeholders.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell Urges Residents to Attend Memorial Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

August 19, 2013

Odell Urges Residents to Attend Memorial Event

The American Cancer Society will host a dinner to honor the memory of long time volunteer Marilyn K. Bruen on Wednesday, August 28 starting at 6 p.m. The event was the brainchild of her children and grandchildren and will be held at McGrath’s Tavern, 146 E. Main St (Rte 22), in Pawling, NY where Marilyn’s grandson Tommy Stevens is a chef.

“Although physically challenged, Marilyn Bruen spent her life working for and giving to others through her many volunteer efforts. The American Cancer Society was at the top of her list and she worked tirelessly on their behalf for decades,” said Odell. “I certainly hope the many friends she left behind will support this wonderful memorial event her family has planned.” 

Marilyn passed away at age 80 on Sept. 18, 2011. She served as the Crusade Chairperson for the Putnam County Unit of the ACS and was known for her boundless energy and determination to raise funds to help those battling cancer and to support efforts to find cures for the disease that took her mother’s life and, eventually, her own.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person and may be purchased by calling Peggy Bruen at (845) 270-2400 or by calling McGrath;s Tavern at (845) 855-0800. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: VOB Film Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2013
Please contact Stacy Dumont, 845-729-9687, Stacy@thebowlcompany.com

Brewster, NY—The VOB International 3-Day Film Festival announces an exciting lineup of events for Labor Day Weekend. This year’s expanded film festival showcases feature-length films, shorts, and documentaries hailing from all over the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Cuba, and Dubai, as well as Putnam County. Genres represented include drama, comedy, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller, historical drama, and animation.   

The Festival kicks off on Friday, August 30 with Dinner and a Movie. The opening night celebration starts at 6pm with a gala reception in honor of this year’s filmmakers. Tickets are available for $35, which includes an intimate dinner in the historic Walter Brewster House at 43 Oak St. , followed by the New York premiere of Cloudburst, a comedy-drama by Thom Fitzgerald that stars Academy Award winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker. Cloudburst will be screened in the Studio Around the Corner at 67 Main St. (the rear entrance of Old Town Hall) at 8pm. Tickets for the film screening only are $5.

On Saturday, August 31, filmgoers can experience a taste of local flavor at the Food and Short Film Festival. The Food Festival, sponsored by the Brewster Chamber of Commerce, begins at 4pm on Oak St. and will be accompanied by live music courtesy of the Second Saturday Band and State of Being . The Short Film Festival begins at 8pm on the lawn of the Walter Brewster House and is free to attend. Filmgoers are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets and enjoy the buttered popcorn.

Raindate for the Short Film Festival only is Sunday, 9/1, at 8pm. All other events will take place rain or shine.

On Sunday, September 1, the Studio Around the Corner hosts its first ever all-day film extravaganza from 9am to 10pm. Feature films and shorts will show in five time blocks with an admission fee of $2 for the first session and $5 for all later sessions. Food will be available for purchase, and attendees will also discover local restaurants, musicians and artists outside the Studio.    

Off-street parking will be available all weekend at the Studio Around the Corner in the Gold Lot,at the former Garden Street School at 20 Garden St , and on Main Street . This event is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature and with public funds from Putnam County .  These grant programs are managed and monitored by the Putnam Arts Council.

For tickets and additional information including this year’s film lineup, please visit www.VOBFilmFestival.com, or call 845-729-9687.

Odell, Vets Attend First Purple Heart Parade

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

August 13, 2013

Odell, Vets Attend First Purple Heart Parade
MOPH Commander Speaks of New Mission  

Peekskill’s North Division Street was lined with onlookers during the first annual Military Order of the Purple Heart Parade which was held on Saturday, August 10, 2013.  The parade was organized by the City of Peekskill, American Legion Hawthorne Post 112, and members of NYS Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Chapter 21.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and MOPH Chapter 21 Commander Neil Gross were among the dignitaries invited to attend the event. Odell presented Grand Marshal Sgt. Gary Beikirch with a proclamation thanking him for his service to his country and his fellow man.

“Participating in this event meant a lot to me,” said Odell. “Every one of the Purple Heart recipients is a true hero. It was an honor for me to meet Sgt. Beikirch and to present to him a proclamation on behalf of the people of Putnam County.” 

In her proclamation, Odell recounted Beikirch’s “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” while serving as a U. S. Army Special Forces medic. It was at Camp Dak Seang in the Republic of Vietnam on April 1, 1970 that Beikirch risked his life several times to save his wounded comrades and was wounded himself. A three-time Purple Heart recipient, Beikirch also received a Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.

For Gross, also Vietnam Veteran, attending the parade was akin to a long overdue homecoming. 

“Forty years ago we were not welcomed home,” Gross said. “We were shunned and spit upon as our country and our fellow countrymen turned their backs on us.”

For today’s military veterans, it’s a different story and Gross and his fellow veterans are determined to bring a happier ending to the newest generation of veterans returning from war. 

“Today, we feel welcomed and part of our country. We also feel we have a new mission. That mission is to insure that all our young men and women in uniform all around the world are cared for and protected.”

Gross said today’s veterans, many of whom are afflicted by combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), suffer greatly.

“They suffer from homelessness, unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism, spousal abuse, child abuse – all stemming from combat-related PTSD and multiple tours of duty that tear their homes and lives apart,” Gross said.

Various veteran organizations have begun to focus on the plight of today’s veterans. They include the American Legion, the DAV, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the MOPH and others.

“They are all dedicated to insuring that we never forget the sacrifices our men and women are making everyday. We must help America remember always that freedom is not free. That is the message we must convey to our children and our children’s children,” Gross said.  

081313 MEO with PH Parade Dignitaries 

PHOTO CAPTION:  Dignitaries gathered to greet Purple Heart Parade Grand Marshal Sgt. Gary Beikirch at Saturday’s event. From L to R are: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Beikirch, MOPH Chapter 21 Commander Neil Gross, veteran Al Kotash, and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

081013 MEO, Galef, Peekskill Councilwoman Marybeth Mcgowan, Mayor Mary Foster, Sgt. Gary Beikirch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mahopac Man Honors Wife by Hosting Breast Cancer Benefit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

August 13, 2013

Mahopac Man Honors Wife by Hosting Breast Cancer Benefit

A Mahopac resident and member of the Westchester Chapter of Iron Order Motorcycle Club will host the first annual Breast Cancer Benefit and Motorcycle Run on Saturday, August 24 starting at noon at the Claddagh Bar & Grill, 925 Route 6 in Mahopac, NY.

The event is to honor Manny Leggio’s wife, Daniella, who lost her battle against breast cancer last February.

“We all know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. For me, it was my wife. But it might be someone else’s mother, aunt or sister,” said Leggio. “Holding an event like this, it’s the only thing we, the survivors, can do.”

Odell is no stranger to fundraising motorcycle rides and has participated in several this summer.

“This is just another example of the generosity and support that the ‘bike’ community offers when they see someone in need,” Odell said. “I was lucky enough to participate in the ride for the Blythesdale Children’s Hospital as well as the Purple Heart ride, both benefitting terrific causes.” 

A relatively new member of the Iron Order club, Leggio said he had been a longtime motorcycle enthusiast and was first introduced to the club by a friend a few years ago. 

“I hung out with the club a couple of times,” he said. “They were just a great bunch of guys. This was like Boy Scouts for men.”

When Leggio learned the Iron Order wanted to open a Westchester County branch, he “just went with it.” 

Leggio now serves as the chapter’s vice-president and feels quite at home among the membership, many of whom are, as Leggio is, in law enforcement. Leggio works as a narcotics detective in the New York Police Department. But the club, he said, has plenty of non-law enforcement members as well.

“We are a law enforcement support group but we have military and retired and just plain, old  regular Joe’s,” he said.

The Iron Order spends a great deal of its time fundraising for various projects, something Leggio learned as he became more familiar with the group.

“I would be willing to bet that motorcycle clubs raise more funds for various causes than are donated by major corporations,” he said. 

Saturday’s fundraiser will consist of a 30-mile motorcycle run up Rte 6 to Rte 301 and over to Rte 9A by the Bear Mountain Bridge. There they will turn around and retrace their ride back to the Claddagh where Two Fisted Law and The Hat City Ramblers are donating their musical talents for the entire event. 

For the price of $20 per person or $30 per couple, attendees can enjoy free food and a cash bar. Vendors will be present selling such things as T-shirts and jewelry, while tattoo and piercing artists will be available to do their thing. And don’t forget the Coors Light Girls. They’ll be there, too. 

“But 100 percent of the funds raised will go to fight breast cancer,” Leggio said. 

Iron Order flyer

Iron Order BW flyer