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In Memory of 15 ASMC members killed in the Pentagon attack.  9/11/2001

    


ASMC Washington Chapter wishes to thank the following groups for making its recent community service project, providing and distributing toys for approximately 375 children of the employees who clean the Pentagon.

The Marines who put together the toys for our requirement and loaded the five vehicles to the brim.  We do not know the names but our contact person was SGT Watson (703) 784-2798.  Thanks to all.

The folks who donated toys and brought them to our distribution site.  Two particularly large donations came from Maj Ellen Barber (she also helped to sort, tag and bag toys for 7 hours non-stop) and our Chapter President Pat Zarodkiewicz.

The four drivers, who drove to Quantico, loaded their vehicles and followed the complex security procedures to get the toys into the Pentagon.  They were: Keith Anderson from the Air Force; Chris Mills from Diverse Technologies Corporation; Tom Fairbank from the Army, who was recruited at the last minute when one or the original drivers could not make it.  I made two trips.  I took the first one to make sure everything was working and when I heard from Keith on Thursday morning that the two vehicles scheduled could not bring everything back for our group, I picked up the last load.

Thanks to the unknown helpers on the Pentagon loading docks who assisted us.

Four folks made labels for all the childrenís toys so each child signed up would get what was intended for them.  Our label makers were Pat Talcott, Ronda Taylor and Chaun Eason.  When the fourth set did not arrive, I did a set of labels too.

Thanks to Rebecca Barton of Diverse Technologies Corporation, who coordinated the effort from our corporate members.  They provided a driver, a sorter and offered supplies.  It was not until we were done that I found out that one of the sorters did not sign in although he worked diligently all afternoon to sort, tag and bag toys.  It turns out that it was the President of Diverse Technologies Corporation, Mr. Barnett.

The following folks did sign in and helped several hours each, some staying past their quitting time to complete the work so we only had to deliver on the final day.

Cecilia Swartz, Donna Torch, Cindy Homan, Ellen Barber, Nicole Pellegrino, Linda Kindurys, Ann Donnelly, Shirleann Gatling, Sandra Wright and Mary R. Wilson.  Some of these same folks came back the next day and helped to deliver the toys to the four firms we were working with.

That brings me up to the contact person for each firm.  These folks are:  Carleen Granados of The Chimes (formerly Abilities Unlimited); Bersy Maldonado of Tri-Ark Industries; Jay Harding of Did Lake, Inc., and James Hampton of Patriarch Inc.  Without these folks we would not have been able to do any of this.  They signed up the children of their employees, translated, provided inside Pentagon transportation, mediated disputes, and even fed us during their parties.

Our work was made much easier by being provided an area in the Pentagon that we could use for sorting and could lock at night.  This was done by Mr. John Giancoli.  His assistant Teresa Calmes ensured that our drives could enter the loading dock areas that need advance permission.

Thanks also to all who helped by spreading information, and doing all the other routine things that make an effort like this possible, and anyone else who helped but for some reason I missed.

I would also like to thank my husband, Coy Rahman, who worked all three days, made one of the trips to Quantico, got stuck on the loading dock without an escort, organized all the distribution work, and made everything fall in place.

Yes it was quite some effort, but Iíd do it again and again.  There is much more pleasure in giving to those in need than receiving, although the parents of the 375 children were quite pleased with all the toys that Toys for Tots and ASMC provided.  I know.  Iíve been on both sides.  When I first came to this country as a refugee from Hungary, many people gave us a lot of things they thought we needed.  When I first came to work at the Pentagon in 1977 as a single parent, after just coming off food stamps, I was almost offended when my children received toys from Toys for Tots at the subsidized day care they were attending.  I did not consider myself poor.  I was back in the workforce and providing for my family.  Anyway, organizing this project and working through it was a small way I could repay all the help and kindness folks showered me with when I needed help.  Iíve asked the parents who received toys to continue this chain when they are able to do so.    Thanks to all of you for the 375 children who enjoyed their presents.

Clara Weston

 

This  page last updated:  July 13, 2014
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