Bay Ridge

Fort Hamilton JROTC marks 25th anniversary

March 21, 2022 Theodore W. General
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Fort Hamilton H.S.’s Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held a 25th anniversary military ball March 11 in the Community Club at the Fort Hamilton Army Base. 

Fort Hamilton Principal Kaye Houlihan and First Sgt. Jim Lewis, the school’s former Army instructor, were guests of honor.

Many of the boys and girls wore dress uniforms, but some of the female cadets wore evening gowns. The Corps Color Guard presented the colors and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Later the cadets danced and socialized in the club’s Washington Room.

The current JROTC instructors are Maj. Sang Lee and Sgt. First Class David Freeland.

Civic leader Larry Morrish first proposed the JROTC program to then-Principal Alice Farkouh, who hired Lewis and Lt. Col. Lee Anderson, the base’s former deputy garrison commander, to set up the program.

The cadets march and drill in formation in the gym and on the athletic field, take part in academic and physical competitions, volunteer for park cleanups, march in local parades and help at the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K run/walk. They also take classes in leadership, geography, civics, health, global awareness, life skills and U.S. history.

Fort Hamilton was reportedly one of the first New York City public high schools to establish a JROTC. Participants are not required to join the military, but the program is said to excel in developing character and good citizenship.

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The Bay Ridge Center (for older adults), based at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, will hold its 27th annual “Meals on Wheels” walkathon fundraiser on Saturday, March 26. This year’s event is dedicated in memory of Peter Killen, who died Jan. 18.

Killen’s widow Patricia is the grand marshal. Patricia chaired the center’s community advisory board and was president of the Bay Ridge Community Council, vice president of the Ragamuffin Parade and treasurer of the Bay Ridge AARP.

The walkathon begins at 11 a.m. at 411 Ovington Ave. and proceeds along Third Avenue to 83rd Street, then back along Fifth Avenue to Ovington Avenue.


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