Vets home celebrates

Mirror photo by Patt Keith George Prestash Jr. of Philipsburg enjoys an ice cream treat during the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home carnival Friday afternoon. Prestash was joined at the carnival by his granddaughters (from left) Hailey Prestash, 18, her sister Alexa, 11, and other family members.

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Food, fun and fellowship followed solemn Flag Day ceremonies at an outdoor carnival for staff, residents and their families at the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home on Friday.

Rain Thursday caused the events to be re-scheduled to Friday. A correct decision, said Samuel Dunkle, deputy commandant. Flag Day ceremonies at 9 a.m. were under sapphire skies punctuated by white clouds, and temperatures rose to the low 70s by afternoon.

The National Anthem performed by the Altoona Chorus of the Sweet Adelines opened the Flag Day ceremonies, which were attended by veterans, politians, home staff and Scouts.

Eagle Scout Adam Elder lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dignitaries in attendance included state Rep. Lou Schmitt Jr., Sen. Judy Ward, and Tom Whitfield, a Marine who served in World War II.

Of the six Pennsylvania veterans homes, Hollidays­burg is the largest with 360 residents. Among the residents are 32 World War II veterans.

The ceremonies and carnival concluded the week’s activities, which included an open house attended by more than 100 visitors and residents’ trips to the Boalsburg Military Museum and an Altoona Curve game.

After the Flag Day ceremonies, multiple generations enjoyed the annual carnival, featuring games with prizes for the kids, hot dogs, hamburgers, pies made by The Dream, a Hollidaysburg restaurant, and other fair foods. The carnival is open to residents of the home and their families, and employees and their families.

Hailey Prestash, 18, and her sister Alexa, 11, of Morrisdale enjoyed the festivities with their father, George E. Prestash III, grandfather George E. Prestash Jr. and Mary Ann Prestash of Philipsburg.

Air Force veteran George Jr. boasted of Hailey’s accomplishments at West Branch High School and her plans to attend Saint Francis University. Prestash served in the Air Force 1952-58.

Mirror Staff Writer Patt Keith is at 949-7030.