About Us

The Committee for the Families of War Veterans is a non-partisan, 501C3 not-for-profit organization based in the greater Hudson Valley area of New York. The Committee was founded in 2007 to raise funds for returning veterans, current soldiers, as well as the families of soldiers wounded or killed in combat. As our organization has grown, we have recognized the need to assist local veterans from all eras, wars and conflicts. We strive to do this expeditiously with the bare minimum of administrative costs so that we can provide maximum assistance when urgent expenses arise related to fundamental needs such as housing, transportation, and food. We prefer to work in conjunction with existing veterans organizations, but can also work directly with individuals whose needs are critical and who meet the basic criteria. We especially seek to help veterans as they make the transition to civilian life, by providing a helping hand up, not a hand out. We believe the sacrifices of our military personnel should never be forgotten and we attribute our success as an organization to the fact that our community shares this belief with us.

Meet The Committee

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Ray McCarthy, Founder

Ray founded this organization after a story he had read in the Times Herald-Record hit home for him. The story depicted an Iraq War widow with her arms around her four fatherless boys. Ray being a father himself took this to heart. (Click here to read that story.) Ray has over 45 years of experience in distribution, brokerage and importing of food and beverage products nationwide and especially in the Metro New York area.

 

DanDan O’Kane Jr., President

‎After graduating college. Dan entered the construction industry in the New York Area and hasn’t left.  Dan joined the group simply because of his great love for our country and his deep respect for our military. As President of this organization, Dan hopes to help military personnel and their families in whatever way possible as a group, by relieving financial pressure they may suffer.

 

 

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Christine Schiff, Vice President

Christine is married to Sheriff Mike Schiff of Sullivan County and is the mother of four children. In 2006 Ray McCarthy, founder, called Christine and her to join him at his Flying Saucer Cafe at the Sullivan County Airport. When she arrived, Ray showed her the articles on his wall of young soldiers killed in the line of duty from the area. The one article that he made sure jumped out was that of Barbara Allen and her four small boys. He asked Christine to help this family who just lost their dad and husband, killed by an american soldier. She didn’t hesitate and immediately signed up. Christine is one of the original members that helped create Families of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans and play a significant role in getting the organization to where it is today.

AlanAlan R. Jones,  Treasurer

Alan was born to a mother and father who were both veterans and served in World War II. In fact, both of his grandfathers served, along with two great uncles that were killed, in World War I. Alan had the opportunity to work, licking envelopes, as a fundraiser volunteer with this organization in the Radiothon held at Sullivan County Airport 5 years ago, and he has participated every year since then. Alan, who became Treasurer since March 2013, truly enjoys working with others on the Committee and the volunteers who work selflessly to help others, without tangible reward.  Alan’s career of over 40 years as land Economist, Appraiser and Real estate Executive.

 

other Audrey Borella, Secretary

Audrey lives in the Town of Bethel and is married to Ron Borella who is also on the Board. She works part time for the Village of Liberty in the Building Department as a clerk. Audrey is a mother of two boys, who she had with her previous husband. Her oldest son, Brian Wilson, is 25 years old and has served in the US Navy for 6 years and was on the Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush.  He now works for Intel and lives in Chandler AZ. Her youngest son Kevin Wilson, is 24 years old and lives in Kingston, NY.  Audrey is also the secretary for Bethel first and the Bethelites which is a homemaker group, and for the Bethel Lions.

 

ron picRon Borella, Board Member

Ron has a Catholic School Education and graduated from Liberty H.S. He has additional education at RCA Institute for Electronics and an offset printing background from Manhattan School of Printing.  Ron has served in NYS as a Correction Officer for 26 years.  He has a daughter from a previous marriage and two teenage grandchildren, who live locally.  Ron has served in the Town of Bethel as a volunteer with the Literacy Center, Bethel Lions Club, as well as Bethel First an organization whose goal is to improve the town of Bethel through beautification. You can also find Ron working as a pole inspector for the Board of Elections.

 

steve2Steven M. Neuhaus, Board Member & Past President

After 9/11, Steve felt the call to also serve in the military, and enlisted in the Army Guard and Navy Reserves. Currently, Steve is an Officer in the Navy Reserve and assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. One accomplishment that Steve is especially proud of is his participation in the Orange County Honor Flight group, where he was a guardian for the first flight to bring World War II Veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the new memorial created in their honor. Neuhaus is a founding board member and former chairman of the Families of War Veterans Committee. Steve was elected Orange County Executive in November 2013. He and his wife, Rachel, have two daughters and live in Chester.

 

gloria2Gloria Smith, Board Member

Gloria is a public relations, advertising and promotions professional devoted to helping clients achieve specific objectives. Before moving into the public relations arena, Gloria was a Madison Avenue advertising copywriter. She is the recipient of numerous awards for creativity, including the Corporate Identity Award for her contributions to Native Americans, Beyond the Legends/Behind the Myths–a production presented by the Turner Broadcast System. Also a freelance writer, Ms. Smith contributes articles to many local publications on a wide range of subjects from health to history and real estate. In 2009 she authored the first in a series of children’s books—The Undercover Kids. She is a former business columnist with the Hudson Valley Business Journal. Gloria completed undergraduate work at George Washington University and earned her Master’s degree from Fairfield University. An avid horsewoman and a pilot, she is the proud mother of two sons who proudly served in the military.

“These men & women sacrifice so much for us, we’ve got to do something for them.”-Ray McCarthy

“I am proud to say I have helped countless families and individuals from getting them a place to stay, live, food, cars, even training for jobs. I will continue to work hard for families that serve this country. I feel it is our duty as citizens of the United States to protect and help those who have protected and served us.” -Christine Schiff

“We do whatever it takes to help veterans and their families get over the rough patch, the bump in the road of life, and move forward positively.” -Alan Jones