Giving Hope For the Warriors

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We’ve made it through the cold and summer is finally here! As we prepare for long days at the beach with beautiful sunsets, we can’t forget the people who are the reason we get to enjoy it all. It is with great pleasure that we welcome back wounded service members of our great nation’s armed forces for the annual Rockaway Warriors Weekend.  

The festivities will kick off with the Hero’s Welcome Parade, taking place on Thursday, July 11. The motorcade will enter Belle Harbor via Rockaway Beach Boulevard to Beach 120th Street at approximately 6:30 p.m. with the soldiers riding in vintage NYPD squad cars, the Fire Family Transport Engine 343 and FDNY ceremonial apparatus. They will then make their way down State Road in Roxbury via Beach Channel Drive and into Breezy Point by 7 p.m. This year, the parade will turn in on Beach 207th Street (*instead of 208th Street*) and then onto 8th Avenue, continuing around the Breezy Point ball field. The parade will once again end at the Rockaway Point Yacht Club, whose members have been with us since day one. 

As in years past, we ask that all of our neighbors once again show their appreciation by lining the parade route to cheer them on. Come out and wave your American flags in support of these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much defending our freedom. Be sure to smile too, as this year’s event will be recorded by Travis Mitterway and his company Mittermax Films. The footage can be seen by following us on Instagram @rockawaywarriorsweekend.

Please come out and say hello to Charlie Cannon and Tom McCarthy, who will be selling Rockaway Warriors Weekend t-shirts at the shopping center in Breezy Point every weekend until the event. They will also be available for purchase at Roxbury’s Band In The Sand on July 6, as well as at the Surf Club - see Kevin Corbett. All proceeds will go to the Rockaway Warriors Weekend, so be sure to get your shirt in time for the parade. Raffle tickets for a chance to win a patriotic handmade afghan blanket made by Cathy Winters can also be purchased at the stores.

For the fourth straight year, we are joining forces with Hope For The Warriors to share our beaches with our valiant veterans and their families. These brave soldiers will partake in a well-deserved weekend of fun in the sun. On July 12 and 13 on the ocean side of Beach 219th Street from 9 a.m. until noon, AmpSurf will be providing lessons to veterans including surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding. At the same time on the bayside, they will also enjoy sailing and fishing provided by the Rockaway Point Yacht Club. Amy Mahony from Peaceful Minds will be on the beach at the RPYC offering acupuncture and massage therapy for our veterans.

On Sunday, July 14 at 10 a.m. at the Breezy Point September 11 Memorial, we invite you to bring your beach chairs and join us for a memorial service led by Blessed Trinity Parish.  Refreshments will follow provided by the Breezy Point Cooperative.

Our largest supporter since 2017 may not be a resident, but he has a huge passion for helping our nation’s war heroes.  The Gary Sinise Foundation has provided the funding for lodging the warriors who come from near and far to participate in this amazing weekend. The contributions from Mr. Sinise's foundation are a vital part of making this event a huge success.  We are eternally grateful for his continued support. Without the support of Breezy Tours and Travel, the Civil Service Council and the help of hundreds in the community, none of this would be possible.

We are also very fortunate to have the support of many locals who volunteer their time and services to make this weekend run as smoothly as possible. Their efforts and dedication ensure that our heroes can focus on having fun while creating memories to last a lifetime. They include Gateway Bike and Boathouse, Atwell Tent Company, The Graybeards, Danny Prince and the Fire Family Transport Foundation, Bishop’s Barn, Ludwigs Catering, The Inn at New Hyde Park, Burn Center of NYC, Peaceful Minds Paul Signs, Call A Head, VFW Post 8540, The American Legion Breezy Point Post 1847, The Rockaway Point Association, The Point Breezy Association, The Sons and Daughters of Breezy Point, DJ Mouse, Staten Island Shop Rite Stores/Mannix Family, The Point Breeze, Rockaway Point and Roxbury Volunteer Fire Departments, Wine With Sue, The Kitchen with Sick Vic, Breezy Point Public Safety, the 100th Precinct Community Affairs, the NYPD and FDNY who go above and beyond to help create a safe, restorative, relaxing environment so our veterans can enjoy our tiny piece of Heaven on Earth. 

Volunteers and donations are always welcome and needed. If you are interested in supporting Rockaway Warriors Weekend, a tax deductible donation can be made out to FDNY Foundation and mailed to Richard Whalen at 27 Reid Avenue, Breezy Point, NY 11697.  To volunteer or for more information, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To provide further support for the program, on Friday, September 20, the Civil Service Coalition of Building Trades is hosting a fundraiser Golf Outing at the Pelham/ Split Rock Golf Course (870 Shore Road, Bronx). Registration starts at 7 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. and a shot gun start at 9 a.m. All registration fees support Hope For The Warriors.

We look forward to seeing the roads lined with patriotism as we welcome and support our heroes and their families. God bless our troops and God bless America!

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