Belleville American Legion raises funds for area cancer nonprofit

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BELLEVILLE, NJ — The Belleville Post 105 American Legion family, consisting of American Legion Post 105 and Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105, donated $1,500 to the Gail’s Angels Foundation in October from a fundraiser held at the Post 105 annual picnic on  Sept. 17.

The Gail’s Angels Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to families that have a mom with breast cancer, and also care for their autistic or special needs child. Gail’s Angels was founded in 2007 to honor the memory of Gail E. Babai who died of breast cancer in 2006. The organization is based in Nutley and run by James Babai, Gail’s husband.

Through a chance meeting over the summer with a few members, the Post 105 family embraced the opportunity to raise some money for this worthwhile charity.

SAL member Vinnie Ferriole, a cancer survivor himself, is the chairperson of the squadron’s cancer fundraising committee. 

“It was an honor to be able to help somebody with cancer,” Ferriole said. “I’m glad everyone donated.”

At each year’s post picnic, the Legionnaires raise funds for charity. Last year, the money raised was donated to the American Cancer Society; in an attempt to do something a little more community-based, the SAL unanimously voted in July to adopt Gail’s Angels as the recipient this year. 

“It’s something we picked up last year, and are proud to continue this year, and every year,” SAL Cmdr. Steve Sangemino said.

At the picnic, following the raffle, with Gail Angels President James Babai at the microphone, SAL Adjutant Rusty Myers announced that $500 had been raised for the organization, which would be matched by both the Post and the SAL, producing a $1,500 donation. 

“The support Gail’s Angels has received inspires me,” James Babai wrote online. “The families we’ve served reassures me that our mission is necessary. Together, we can ensure these families achieve and experience the same desires we all have.”

In addition to receiving a big check, Babai was also presented a poster board that donors at the picnic signed with notes of support to Gail’s Angels and those it helps.

Photos Courtesy of Rusty Myers