Ruthanne Stadnick says her husband, Alexander “Skip” Stadnik, looked “quite handsome” in his tux at the annual United Way of Broward County’s Mayor’s Gala.
But a tux doesn’t hold a candle to how Skip looked in his Army uniform, said Ruthanne. “Well, his uniform, my god,” she said when asked which one he looked better in.
For his time wearing that uniform, Skip was honored at the Gala, which took place Oct. 25 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.
“We were all very proud of him,” Ruthanne said. “There were probably 500 people there. It was beautiful. It was a really nice affair. His son and daughter-in-law got to go and witness [him being honored].” She added that she and Skip were very appreciative of the table purchased by the city so that Skip’s family could attend. Also in attendance were Mayor Gary Resnick and Commissioner Tom Green.
Every year, the United Way honors veterans from various Broward County municipalities. This year, 10 were honored with Stadnick, 82, being the second oldest behind a World War II veteran. The $250 a plate dinner raises money for Mission United, a United Way program that assists veterans with employment services, legal assistance, education, financial services, health and housing support. Last year’s Gala raised $200,000.
“I didn’t get there until the actual fighting was over. I had to spend three weeks over in Korea. Then, I came back and served my four years in the Reserve in South Florida. When the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, I had to put my uniform again and go back in. I trained a lot of medics.”
He’s grateful for his time in the Army, 1952 to 1958 and four years in the Reserve, and appreciative of those who thanked him for his service. “Can you imagine being in front of 500 people applauding you? It was fantastic.”
Now, he’s looking forward to honoring his fellow veterans at the city’s Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
“I’ve already written my speech. I’m going to have [veterans at the city’s ceremony] register so maybe one of them will be chosen for next year’s Gala.”