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Kathy Weppner

Kathy Weppner and her husband Dennis, an OB/GYN physician, have five children.  Kathy studied Mass Communications at St. Bonaventure University and University at Buffalo. Prior to starting a family Kathy worked  at Channel 7 Eyewitness News as an Assignment Editor, writer and researcher.  After having her first child, Kathy stayed home for nineteen years before she took to the airwaves on WBEN AM 930 hosting Straight Talk with Kathy Weppner.  During her years on the radio she became involved with many local causes, helped many in her community who needed help solving problems, supported the military and local efforts to help returning troops, and helped those seeking justice due to inequity in power.   She has earned a reputation as a hard-nosed tenacious advocate for those who have difficulty speaking up for themselves.  Her drive and desire to help others is rooted in her Christian  values.


“When my children were young we had a wall of heroes in our kitchen.  As they worked on the computer, when they looked up, they saw all of those who gave their lives so we could live in freedom.  We wanted to make sure they grew up grateful for that sacrifice.   The Patriot Guardians was formed to make sure we never forget that sacrifice.”

Elaine Jarzynka

Working with veterans was supposed to be a short-term commitment, but it became a life-long journey. I'm so fortunate to be able to impact the lives of others, all while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven philanthropists on the globe.

Janiese Green

Retired Navy Veteran, High School Educator

Janiese and her husband live with their children in East Aurora, where she teaches Social Studies at East Aurora High School. Her tireless efforts and continued compassion to give back to her community is evident in all her practices. 

Janiese currently sits on the board of several veteran organizations, including her newest role as Public Affairs Officer for WNY Buffalo Niagar International Airport Freedom Lounge.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.  

 American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.  are an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country. We are a Veterans Service Organization, established in 1928 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1984. American Gold Star Mothers continue to honor our sons and daughters through service -- service to veterans and patriotic events.

If you have lost a child in the service to our country and would like the community of others in your situation, we invite you to participate. No one knows how you feel like another mother who has lost a child.


Be Your Own Hero, Inc.
Joan Graci
President, APA Solutions & Career Reformist

Joan, the heart and soul of APA Solutions, has spent three decades representing growth companies identify, retain, and develop talent. But as new technologies emerged and a fickle economy worsened, Joan watched employers and employees drift farther and farther apart. Joan began challenging the status quo in order to get to the root of the issue.

She has made it her mission to embark on a self-directed educational journey in order to better understand how to leverage workforce behaviors and motivators in a way that breeds success and innovation. Be Your Own Hero, Inc., is an extention of Joan's compassionate nature regarding our youth and connecting them to great futures!

"Honoring those who gave all.......
and the families that love them."

Very few of us know a Gold Star Family. For most of us the loss of a service member is felt when we read a death notice in the newspaper and pause to say a prayer. Life resumes. For the Gold Star Family life is forever changed. Forever halted. Their loved is one frozen in time, their memories limited to those stored up. They are missed every minute of each day, especially those moments when families gather. We rarely pause to think of the loss of that person and the impact their absence has on our country. These men and women, who gave so freely everything they had to give, represent the best of America. When Western New York loses a Patriot WE lose them forever! We lose their optimism, their work ethic, the children they would have raised to also love their country, we lose our future neighbors. We lose so very much! We will gather to remember them. We will gather to get to know them and their families so our children will know their heroes. We will never forget our fallen. Join us for a night of Thanksgiving for our fallen and the families that love them. 

Proclamation by the President of the United States


Whereas the preamble to Public Resolution 123, 74th Congress, approved June 23, 1936 (40 Stat. 1895), recites:

Whereas the service rendered the United States by the American mother is the greatest source of the Country's strength and inspiration; and "Whereas we honor ourselves and the mothers of America when we revere and give emphasis to the home as the fountainhead of the State; and

"Whereas the American mother is doing so much for the home and for the moral and spiritual uplift of the people of the United States and hence so much for good government and humanity; and

"Whereas the American Gold Star Mothers suffered the supreme sacrifice of motherhood in the loss of their sons and daughters in World Wars"

and Whereas the said Public Resolution 12 provides:

"That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the Government officials to display the United States flag on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag and to hold appropriate meetings in their homes, churches, or other suitable places, on the last Sunday in September, as public expression of the love, sorrow and reverence of the people of the United States for the American Gold Star Mothers."

"Sec. 2. That the last Sunday in September shall hereafter be designated and known as "Gold Star Mother's Day," and it shall be the duty of the President to request its observance as provided for in this resolution."

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