Gino DiGregorio, 96, enjoyed the cruise
NEW HAMBURG – A flotilla of 16 powerboats left White’s Marina
in New Hamburg on Saturday and cruised south on the Hudson River to West
The boats carried a group of approximately 40 veterans of all ages for
a ride down to the US Military Academy, escorted by two boats operated
by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and then back to the marina for
a large picnic.
A little over three years ago, George Mann, captain of the 41-foot “Mann
Made Dreams II” was sitting on his boat thinking of ways to thank
veterans and give them a day of fun on the river. Mann mentioned the idea
to a few other boaters and the “Boat Ride For Dutchess County Veterans”
This trip was the third of its kind. The morning started at the marina
with remarks from State Senator Sue Serino, Assemblyman Kieran Lalor and
former Wappinger Town Supervisor Lori Jiava.
Lalor, himself a United States Marine Corps combat veteran remarked that,
“no matter what is going on around us, the one thing that always
unifies us is our veterans.”
After the welcoming remarks and flag ceremony the veterans were assigned
to their boats and headed down the docks to climb aboard. On board the
46-foot “My Three Buoys” owned by Gary and Kim Baright, were
two veterans, Tom Ligurori who served as an Army Intelligence Analyst
in the early 1950’s and 96-year-old WWII veteran Gino DiGregorio who served
in the Navy.
Ligurori was joined by his wife Anita, while DiGregorio was escorted by
his son and daughter-in-law. Mrs. Ligurori, seated on the fly bridge of
the yacht called the excursion “wonderful” which accompanied
her husband’s “It is great.” Due to limited mobility, DiGregorio
sat at the rear of the yacht and marveled at the sight of West Point rising
up from the river.
All of the boat owners were thrilled to participate. Both Gary Baright
and Rob Doyle have captained their boats for two of the three events and
look forward to doing it again next year. When the boats returned, the
veterans were treated to a variety of hot and cold food which was donated
by many including Shop Rite, Channingville Deli and the boat owners.