Newport Harbor Cruise for Visually Impaired Veterans

Oh What a Day!

On Wednesday, July 26, Newport Harbor Elks hosted its second harbor cruise for visually impaired veterans from the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. Phil Bradley, Veterans Chairman with the assistance of Maureen Schaller, Lodge Trustee coordinated the event.

It was a beautiful sunny day to treat 20 veterans plus their aides and bus driver to a harbor cruise. The veterans arrived at 9:30 am to a ‘welcome and get-to-know-you’ continental breakfast before boarding 3 covered pontoon boats. The boats were captained by members Frank Cuccia, Dan Roach and David Armstrong. The feel of the sun, the breeze and the ocean smells were enjoyed by the veterans and Elk volunteers. Two of the sightless veterans stated they tried to touch the water but couldn’t reach it from the boat. Next year we’ll find a way that they can touch the water to cover that sense of ‘touch’.

After the cruise, everyone enjoyed a ham sandwich and crispy fried chicken lunch. Of course it included all the trimmings and dessert. During lunch there was music, laughter and a lot of conversation. Phil Bradley gave a brief presentation on the lodge, Elkdom and told them about the purple pigs on the tables.

The day was topped off with a group picture, and a gift bag full of goodies with a $25 dollar gift card was given to each veteran… they told Phil they loved the gift and really showed their excitement! It was a rewarding day for the lodge volunteers: Phil Bradley, Maureen Schaller, Dan Roach, Frank Cuccia, David Armstrong, Jim Bennett, Cathy Armstrong, Karen Johnson, Vallerie Gonzales, and Sandy and Jack Fettig. Please accept our apologies if any volunteer was failed to be mentioned.