Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol and the Town of Huntington will host a screening of the animated film “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” on May 4.
The screening, at the Cinema Arts Center, will help raise money for the American Legion posts in Huntington and for veterans’ service dogs.
The family-friendly film is based on the true story of not only the first and most decorated dog in American history. Stubby, a stray rescued off the streets of New Haven by a U.S, soldier training on the eve of World War I to be deployed to Europe, went on to save countless lives in the trenches of France. The dog, who received a battlefield promotion to “sergeant,” became famous for warning his unit of a gas attack, saving lives on the battlefield and even capturing a German prisoner.
The film features the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu. Its writer and director, Richard Lanni, describes the film as “a great way to engage kids with history, and we are thrilled to see audiences around the world share out love for this little dog and his great mission of opening new eyes to our shared past.”
Cergol learned of the film, which had its theatrical release last year, from the newsletter of the American Legion Auxiliary, of which she is a member. The newsletter noted that the American Legion had partnered with VetFlicks to facilitate screenings. VetFlicks is a not-for-profit organization founded by military and film industry veterans to arrange for screenings around the country. VetFlicks’ mission is to ensure that service members and those returning from combat are portrayed accurately and that the issues they face are presented honestly within the entertainment industry.
Cergol contacted VetFlicks, which arranged for her to see the film. “It was touching, and funny, and at the same time educational – perfect family entertainment,” Cergol said. “I realized the film’s immense potential to raise funds for our Huntington veterans, and the programs the American Legion runs to benefit the community.”
Cinema Arts will make all three of its screens available to show the film, with doors opening at 9 a.m. and the film beginning at 10.
The minimum advanced-purchase per-ticket donation is only $5 per person, with all of the proceeds going to assist the Town’s three American Legion Posts (Halesite Post 360, Northport Post 694 and Greenlawn Post 1244) and America’s VetDogs, the Smithtown-based affiliate of the Guide Dog Foundation. America’s VetDogs trains and places service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing, and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals. It was in the news recently as the organization that trained and provided the late President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, Sully.
America’s VetDogs will be bringing one of its ambassador dogs to the Cinema Arts Centre, as well as a human to answer questions about its programs.
To reserve your seat to this screening and meet an American VetDogs ambassador dog, tickets can be purchased in advance by making checks payable to the Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute and mailing them to Councilwoman Joan Cergol, Huntington Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington NY 11743. Please indicate the number of tickets desired.
The Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute is a 501c(3) not for profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $7 a person.
Cergol is also seeking sponsors for the event. For more details, contact Cergol’s office at 631-351-3173.