BELLEVILLE, NJ — Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105 of Belleville hosted “A Night of Comedy,” a comedy show run by the SAL state-level Detachment of New Jersey to benefit the Child Welfare Foundation. The comedy show, featuring four professional comedians, had more than 50 attendees. Following the show, Squadron 105 also made a $1,000 donation to the CWF.
The Child Welfare Foundation, though itself an independent charity, is perhaps one of the American Legion’s largest philanthropies. “Established in 1954, the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was developed as a repository of funds from individuals who wished to contribute to the betterment of children in this country,” according to the CWF website. “Our foremost philanthropic priority is to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth by aiding progress in the field of child welfare through dissemination of knowledge about research, studies, surveys (and) projects, or by supporting programs and activities benefiting the welfare of children and youth.”
Each year, the Detachment of New Jersey, which is the state-level organization of the Sons of the American Legion in New Jersey, runs a committee under its Children and Youth Commission that donates to the national CWF. For the past few years, the chairperson has been Mark Natale of Squadron 338 in Leonardo. Continuing an initiative he began last year, Natale hosted a series of comedy shows throughout New Jersey to benefit the Child Welfare Foundation.
For the first time, the comedy show was held at Post 105 on Washington Avenue in Belleville on Oct. 2. Held at the John Bezzera Patio behind the post, the professional comedians who performed included Sean Morton, Carla Oakerson, Mike Keegan and headliner Terry McNeely. McNeely has previously performed on “The Daily Show” and on Comedy Central, and has made many television appearances on shows such as “Blue Bloods” and “Law & Order.”
With perfect weather in the 60s, guests were treated to food provided by members and friends of Post 105 and Squadron 105, which included sausage and peppers, and chicken savoy. The show began at 7 p.m. and participants did nothing but laugh for the following two hours.
Natale, also a detachment vice commander, spoke at the conclusion of the show to thank everyone, noting, “It truly has been a great night for a great cause.”
SAL 105 Commander Steve Sangemino then gave his appreciation for everyone coming out, and informed Natale that SAL 105 had voted at the previous meeting to donate $1,000 to the Child Welfare Foundation.
“It’s all for the kids,” Sangemino said.
Photos Courtesy of Rusty Myers