2012 Womam of the Year Strives to Keep Her mission alive

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Article by Lena Sala

As I look in the rearview mirror of 2012, I am looking back at the wonderful honor bestowed on me of being Baltimore County Commission for Womens 2012 Woman of the Year, proclaimed Dundalks own Irene Spatafore. She was commended on March 15, 2012 at a special ceremony held at Confettis Event Center in Towson. Throughout the years, Spatafore has made it her duty to help others. Whether it be lending a helping hand to the members of her community or making miracles in the lives of our military, the charitable work she has done is immeasurable. While I am active in five other ministries, my biggest challenge is Angels Supporting Your Troops, Inc., noted Spatafore. Our organization name was given to us by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Edward Chow. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization, meaning all of our supplies and shipping costs are possible from donations. Spatafore, who helped create the organization, works alongside her fellow Angels, Brenda Kesterson, Blanche Dulaney and her daughter Valerie, in order to send out 36 care packages each month to troops overseas. The care packages are filled with snacks, toiletry items, cough drops, band-aids, washcloths, shampoo - the list is endless. Angels Supporting Your Troops, Inc., which currently operates out of Sonshine Fellowship Church on Sollers Point Road, was recognized at the Fallen Heroes Ceremony of the General Assembly in Annapolis in February of last year. In July, Tom Davis, president of the American Legion Chapters in Maryland, invited the Angels as his guest for an overnight stay at the Bayside Princess Hotel in Ocean City and presented them with a $1,000 check for postage at theAnnual Convention. According to Spatafore, just last month Gunther Charters and Tours presented the Angels with a $1,241 check. For the third year in a row, they have chosen to support and believe in our group. I am beyond grateful, she acknowledged. The demand is strong in the war zone for supplies. Our military are in harms way to protect the citizens of the USA. The least we can do is to make an effort and purchase items for our goodie care packages to put a glow and a smile on their faces as they open the box, Spatafore commented. The war is not over - nearly 12 years old, she continued. Our postage cost for 2012 was $6,896.51. We are asking for any help the public can offer, whether it be money for postage or donations for the packages. Their help is immensely needed to keep our mission alive. Spatafore added that she is sincerely appreciative for Sacred Heart of Mary, Graceland Park, which has been extremely devoted to assisting the Angels on their journey. In addition to the churches, organizations and politicians, Spatafores son Marty also stands strong in supporting the Angels. He decided to hold a silent auction at his workplace on York Road. Marty baked two mouth-watering Jewish apple cakes at Thanksgiving time, which netted $88 - a big surprise! At age 79, Spatafore is more determined than ever to make a difference. Helping others is something she has done her whole life and she doesnt plan to stop anytime soon. I cant stop, I dont know how to - this is who I am, she affirmed. I would like to give a special thanks to my daughter Valerie, for nominating her mom as Woman of the Year, and to my husband John who gave me three beautiful children, for standing by me as I have set up and worked tirelessly to organize this work dedicated to the troops, said Spatafore. The men and women who serve us are so thankful for all that we do. I receive so many letters of gratitude, she explained. SSG Larry Posey wrote I want you to know that I appreciate you supporting the military... I want to let you know what you did was special. In order for Angels Supporting Your Troops, Inc. to continue to provide soldiers with a little piece of comfort from home, they will need postage and supply sponsors. Please send donations to Angels Supporting Your Troops, Inc. c/o Irene Spatafore, 7914 Diehlwood Road, Baltimore, MD 21222. For more information, call 410-284-5275.


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