Modified: February 13, 2021 2:35pm

February 12, 2021

Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns collected special Valentines from Principal Marianna Cecchini
of Buffalo Public School #17, Early Childhood Center where students created handmade
“Valentines for Vets” to be delivered to veterans receiving care at
the VA Western New York Healthcare System.

Special Handmade Cards Created for Veterans at Buffalo VA Medical Center 

Erie County, NY- Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns helped lead an annual Valentines for Veterans project with elementary students at Buffalo Public and Lancaster Central School Districts. Kearns worked with the teachers and Principals to coordinate this event where students crafted over 100 handmade Valentine’s Day cards for veterans receiving care at the VA Western New York Healthcare System with genuine notes of thanks for their service.

“In these times, this is a great community service project for students,” stated Kearns. “It is an opportunity for them to learn what it means to be a veteran and why veterans, both past and present, should be honored for protecting the freedoms we enjoy in this country.”

In past years, this project would be coordinated with an Erie County Clerk’s “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Card Program event where students would be invited to present the handmade cards to the veterans in attendance. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, all in-person events have been put on hold until further notice. Never the less, County Clerk Kearns wanted to ensure another successful Valentines for Vets event to show continued appreciation to the veteran community.

Kearns collected and delivered these cards personally, just in time for Valentine’s Day, to veterans during a tour of the VA WNYHS’s COVID-19 vaccination process, coined locally by VA staff as, “Operation New Hope”.

“I want to thank Principal Johnson, Public School #54- George Blackman School of Excellence, Principal Cecchini, Public School #17-Early Childhood Center and all the students, and teachers associated with those Buffalo Public Schools. Also participating, Mrs. Darnley’s 3rd grade class from John A. Sciole Elementary School in Depew,” said Kearns. “I truly appreciate the time and effort taken to coordinate this heartfelt effort in making ‘Valentines for Veterans’ a huge success. By receiving a handmade Valentine’s Day greeting from a student while at the hospital truly meant the world to our veterans.”


The “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Card Program is a way to recognize the veterans in our community for their service and sacrifice and available to any Erie County veteran who files their ORIGINAL military discharge papers with the County Clerk's Office. Eligible veterans will receive a photo I.D. card identifying them as an honorably discharged veteran, which can be used towards discounts at 1,500 participating businesses throughout Erie County. To learn more visit

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