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ALUMNI NEWS UPDATE – April 6, 2010

Rich McGarry Photos from the Tuesday 4/6 meeting.
If you missed the special gathering-of-the-maroon last Tuesday night you missed history being made. For the very first time George Hopkins and The Cadets’ administrative team hosted our monthly meeting, and they did one hell of a good job.

I was at the VFW early to check on the setup of the room, when suddenly the Allentown team came bursting through the doors of the Garfield VFW with enough equipment for a Hollywood production of “Gone With The Wind.”

I just sat and watched in amazement as Rudy and his crew set up the screen, giant speakers, projectors, and several items I assume they borrowed from NASA.

At the other end of the room Caryn, Melissa, and crew were flying around setting up the tables, arranging displays of souvenir merchandise, laying out an area for the buffet, and in general doing what they have been doing at every Cadet event for several years now, and as might be expected they have it down to a science. They truly know how to make every gathering of the maroon a festive, exciting, memorable event.

George Hopkins arrived shortly afterwards, and we were off and running. I don’t think any other corps at any other time in history has ever developed anything close to the unique relationship between corps and alumni that has taken root and flourished in the Cadet family in recent years. Counterparts from other corps often ask me how we have been so successful in achieving this amazing inter-generational camaraderie. How would you answer that question?

Caryn Goebel, in her usual professional manner wrote this about the meeting on www.cadets.org

Nearly 70 alumni of all ages came out Tuesday night for the Holy Name meeting at the Garfield VFW in Garfield, N.J. Hosted by The Cadets, the evening included a delicious Italian dinner, video of the 2010 corps playing their musical selections for this year's program, "Toy Souldier," and show and summer event details presented by Director George Hopkins and Assistant Director Justin Heimbecker.

Another highlight of the evening was a check presentation by Alumnus Gregory Pych who donated $10,000 to the corps as part of the recent Hopkins' Disconnected mini fundraising campaign. In total, the campaign raised more than $21,000 for The Cadets! Thank you to all who donated!

The Cadets team returns for the Holy Name May 4 meeting at the Garfield VFW with Heritage Night. Wear your favorite vintage T-shirt for a prize, and get ready for fun, folklore and excitement as we gear up for another fantastic season! Alumni, family, fans and friends of the corps are welcome! The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Details to come.

From my viewpoint the meeting was undeniably informative, riveting, and thought-provoking. We, the alumni, were taken inside every aspect of what is happening with our corps this season, plus we were given detailed advance notice of what is planned as we travel down the road for the rest of this year and beyond.

It was particularly fascinating to wander around the room watching and listening to the interaction between Cadet Alumni of practically every decade, along with four current marching Cadets. George and Rudy went to a great deal of trouble to personally invite many of our more recent Alumni to join with those of us from earlier decades, in order to expand the scope of our active alumni base. I for one am very grateful they did so. Perhaps it might be an over-statement, but it seems as though our corps and our alumni become, less and less, two separate entities.

Asking four current Cadets to join the alumni at the meeting was a master stroke. The four young men in attendance impressed everyone with their intelligence, their wit, their self-assurance, and their demeanor. Thanks for coming Cadet Andrew Rubano, Cadet Jason Welsh, Cadet Patrick Smith, and Cadet Will Ebbels. We are all proud to have young men like yourselves wearing our fabled maroon and gold.

A recent development is that Cindi (Carozza) DeVivo, 69-73, has agreed to take on the responsibility for managing our monthly North Jersey gatherings-of-the-maroon. You can contact her at cynthia.devivo@yahoo.com. You can bet she’s going to do a terrific job…she always does.

The next gathering-of-the-maroon will be held on Tuesday, May 4th, 7 PM, at the VFW Hall on Outwater Lane in Garfield. An announcement on what is planned for the evening will be sent out shortly.


Ken Shedosky, 57-61, was in the midst of his presentation on arranging group bus transportation to The Cadets’ first contest on Friday, June 18th in Allentown. It was beginning to look as though the price would be prohibitive, until George Hopkins generously offered to provide a bus and driver to transport us free of charge (a collection for fuel expenses might be taken). The plan is to depart from the VFW parking lot at 4 PM on the 18th (permission to be solicited from the VFW), with a return departure approximately 10:30 PM from Allentown. The trip is approximately 2 hours in each direction. Ken is investigating the possibility of securing a block of seats, which will be at your own expense. The bus seats 47, so if you’re interested contact Ken ASAP to secure your place: kshedosky76@embarqmail.com


We received the following update on the condition of John Baumfalk from Judi Van Houten and Charlie Sydoryk, 67-70:

Charlie and Dave,
I wanted to give you both an update on John's condition. First, he is much improved. Good News! John's two stepdaughters, Sandy and Mari, came in from Reno on Thursday and were busy making all kinds of arrangements on John's behalf. It has been extremely difficult for them, they want to move him to Reno, but because of the altitude of Reno and his bad heart the Doctor says NO. So they make all their arrangements for his care long distance. They are very fortunate that John has a very loving and wonderful caregiver, Keet is her name. She sees him at least twice daily and advises Sandy and Mari of changes in his condition etc, but she is not a relative or allowed to make decisions on his behalf.

Yesterday John was moved to a skilled nursing facility in south Orange County with the goal of getting him strong enough to go back home. They have no idea how long he will be at this facility, but the expectation is at least 1-2 weeks. It will all depend on how hard John works to build up his strength as right now he is a fall risk because he is so very weak. Sandy and Mari have just finished making arrangements with a Hospice program to evaluate John and see if he is a candidate for their care. Unfortunately at John's age a simple cold can be dangerous so the sooner he can get home the better for him.

I will continue to keep you advised on John's health.

I thank you both, as well as all the Cadets and Alumni for your prayers and good wishes for John.

Judi Van Houten


It’s still not too late to make a donation to the caps-for-cadets alumni initiative. We are in the process of finalizing our plans, so if you want to be a part of sending our kids off on tour with some happy memories of our affection and support for them, send your donation check made out to “Garfield Cadets Alumni” to Dave Shaw, 10-01 Hopper Ave., Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.

I have just been informed by Jim Gardiner that our Canadian Alumni fully support the caps-for-cadets program, and that they will be sending their donation to cover at least a portion of the pizza party we organize for the Cadets on Memorial Day following the Hawthorne parade. All alumni are invited to join us at Hawthorne American Legion Post 199 after the parade for this special event.

There is a lot more news to share with you, but the length of the message so far is already fairly long, so I am going to hold back and give you all a chance to catch your breath.

For Holy Name shall always be…
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