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Armory gets farewell gala June 19

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Making up the committee for the Armory Farewell Gala are: Front row, from left, Betsy Reis, Trudy Reusser, Dick Saunders, Ana Kuhl, LOFD Assistant Chief Larry Goff. Back row, John Creegham of the Royal Rosarians; David Alford, retired LOPD detective; Edd Dahl, Oregon Veterans Biker Association; Col. Douglas Kuhl, retired from 82nd Brigade; Col. Martin Mote, 82nd Brigade; Sgt. Jack Bentley of C Battery U.S. Artillery Civil War reenactors, Anne DuFresne, member of the String of Pearls and former Rose Queen; and Major Brian Dean.

People who want to see a really good USO show should come to the Lake Oswego National Guard Armory Farewell on Sunday, June 19, at Millennium Plaza Park.

There will be singing, dancing, patriotism and plenty of flashy military hardware - even howitzers - on display at the park starting at 1 p.m.

Mixed in will be appreciation for the citizen soldiers who have served at the Lake Oswego armory for the past 50 years.

The ever-energetic Jerry Ghiglieri, organizer of the event, said, 'This has taken on a life of its own. It's amazing how patriotic people are.'

It is likely that even the late Bob Hope would have been impressed with the show that Ghiglieri is producing: Dick Saunders and his big band; the String of Pearls singing group, featuring former Rose Queen Anne DuFresne; the Two Sisters Trio; Civil War re-enactors, who will be toting an 800-pound Civil War cannon; the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band, providing the all-essential bagpipes for the occasion; Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, adjutant general for Oregon; the Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association; and master of ceremonies Bill Shonely, Portland Trail Blazers broadcasting legend and a former Marine.

Ghiglieri also promises 'a few wonderful surprises.'

It will be a fitting farewell tribute to the 82nd Oregon National Guard Brigade, which will be leaving for a new base at Camp Withycombe, just east of I-205 in Clackamas, this summer.

Major sponsor of the event is the Stafford Retirement Community, which will also be sending a van-full of distinguished veterans to the celebration.

While many dignitaries will be present, Ghiglieri is especially gratified that Oregon National Guardsmen and their families will be showing up in large numbers.

Even before the big show gets started, a prelude of entertainment will be held, featuring Dennis Marcellino of the fabulous Tokens, best known for the all-time hit, 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.'

Cascadia Pacific Council Boy Scout Troop 204 will serve as color guard. Members will be bearing an American flag that once belonged to the late Col. Kenneth Reusser, the most decorated Marine Corps pilot in history. The flag was donated by his widow Trudy Reusser, who has served as Ghiglieri's top aide for the gala.

Everyone is welcome to what should be a most enjoyable event. And they don't have to bring a howitzer.

'This is our chance to say 'Thank you,'' Ghiglieri said.

Even though the armory tribute already has plenty of features, Ghiglieri is still welcoming suggestions from the public. She can be contacted at 503 636-2037.