Like in the military, Building Bridges depends upon leadership. In most locations, we benefit from our amazing “Champions”—those who assume overarching responsibility for their sites. From securing a chef, to supervising volunteers, to fundraising and “getting the word out,” our Champions infuse Building Bridges with the energy it requires. Indeed, speaking with them, their response is invariably one of gratitude for the opportunity to authentically thank our veterans for their service.
While some Champions are veterans, others are not. What binds them together is their shared commitment to serving those who selflessly served us.
Below are just a few of our Champions at some of the Building Bridges sites. Whether you’re a veteran interested in attending a gathering, or are considering volunteering, or launching a lunch in your town, our Champions are at-the-ready to answer any questions you might have, and to extend the unqualified welcome, which is the stuff of Building Bridges
Meet the Champions
Dr. Bob Tortolani was a family physician for 44 years in and around Brattleboro. He is a veteran and served in Vietnam.
“It is a pleasure to be a part of Building Bridge’s wonderful mission of bringing members of our veteran community together to share bread and good conversation at our monthly, delicious meals in Brattleboro. We are grateful to Building Bridges to make these monthly gatherings possible.”
“It is my honor and privilege to be hosting our veterans at the Hadley Senior Center. Recently, I had the privilege of sharing the July luncheon with my son from Texas.
Ronald is a 28-year veteran who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during this time.
He has since retired as CW 4 Federal Agent Ronald G. Meyer.”
Rear Admiral Stinson served for 31 years in the Navy as a chaplain in reserve status. His last assignment was as Deputy Chief of Chaplains.
In his time he served units of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA
“Just a fellow Vet who loves to cook and serve or Brothers and Sisters!
Mom started teaching me to cook at age 10. Worked in restaurants as a child and actually owned one for a time! It’s in my blood and love doing this Mission!”
Dallas Stuck, E5, 4.2 Mortar Squad Leader
Dianna Beaulieu Schnopp
“I am a 4 time past Exalted Ruler. I am chairperson of the Veteran’s Committee which is something I firmly believe in.”
“After retiring from the business world in 2020, I looked for opportunities to be more involved in community programs.
The best thing about BB Veteran Lunches is being part of a team whose sole motivation is to say thank you to our local veterans who have given so much for their country.”
Dave McCarthy & Judy Fardig
The husband-and-wife team of Dave McCarthy and Judy Fardig coordinate the Building Bridges meal site at Christ Church in Swansea, Mass. Both have been long active in veterans’ activities and advocacy. They live in Warren, RI.
Dave served in a combat role with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. After his war-time stint, he served for two years as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot/San Diego.
Judy has served for many years on the Rhode Island Commission on Historic Cemeteries, where she has advocated for the protection and preservation of veterans’ gravesites. She is the long-time president of Warren Unit #11 of the American Legion Auxiliary.