The Ken December 19, 2016
Attendance: Barb Henry             
Split Club: Michaelene Bernat
Invocation: Chuck Patterson
Fine Master: Mike Ford
The Ken: Jeff Markarian
Mike began our meeting with the Pledge, Barb led us in “God Bless America” and Chuck Patterson gave our invocation. Guests today were new applicant George Allen and our speaker Jack O’Connor.
Announcements. No meeting for the next 2 Mondays. Operation Santa toys are at Paul’s office. Please keep John Riordan in our thoughts as he is still battling for recovery.
Paul made a motion to accept the slate of officers previously published. Chuck Patterson 2nd the volte. They were accepted unanimously. Jim Prichard made a motion to cast 1 ballet, seconded by Art Traver. Motion passed.
Fine master Mike Ford sheepishly took the podium as fine master because he ravished us last week for the Kenmore Rotary record for most fines levied. Ted P confessed to being sentimental in the room we had the Christmas party in at the Park because he had is wedding there, and on December 28 he will surprise Janel with a party for their anniversary. Jim Prichard thanked the rug rat for lending the Riviera a rug for the Rick Springfield concert. Mike fined Audrey for getting many more “likes” on a picture of her on facebook than Paul got on a picture of him. Now, let’s be honest, who would you rather look at?
Jim Auctioned 2 sets of tickets to “The Pirates of Penzance” donated back to the club by Mike Ford. Art Traver and Paul battled for them, each buying a set. Thanks guys.
I didn’t get who won the raffle but Art won the chance for the Ace but missed and also won the drawing for a loaf of Brian’s bread.
Gary introduced a friend of his, Jack O’Connor. Jack volunteers his time for the Buffalo Veterans Court. Gary is a veteran of the Vietnam War. So many of our vets from Afghanistan, Iraq and even still Vietnam struggle from the aftermaths of what they have been exposed to. When they get in trouble often times they are sent straight to jail. Judge Russell and Jack O’Conner understand that doesn’t help them. They came up with a strategy as to when the Veterans get arrested they are asked if they are Veterans. If so the arresting officer indicates that. They are placed into 1 of 28 cells, freshly painted and cleaned up by Veteran volunteers. Once placed in the cell, Jack or a member of their team visits them and gets them into the program. Judge Russel will hear their case. Instead of sending them to jail. Judge Russel gets them into counseling. The Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court is a hybrid drug and mental health court that serves veterans who are struggling with addiction and / or mental illness by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system into a specialized veteran’s court. 
It is a collaborative effort among the Western New York (WNY) Veterans Project, Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Veteran’s Administration Health Care System, Buffalo Criminal Courts, Buffalo Drug and Mental Health Treatment Courts, Erie County Pre-trial Services and the C.O.U.R.T.S  Program (Court Outreach Unit Referral and Treatment Service), and the Buffalo Veteran Mentor Group (a separate nonprofit organization). In most cases they stay with the program. Judge Russell has sent over 4,000 to ECC.
Another great presentation.
Meeting Adjourned.
 
 
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