Celebrated volunteer from Canandaigua awarded national leadership role

CANANDAIGUA — Gabe Cinquegrana is a familiar face at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center and with numerous organizations serving military veterans, their families and the community. A member of the Seeley B. Parrish Sons of The American Legion Squadron 457 in Phelps, Cinquegrana was recently appointed National VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) representative to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, representing the National Sons of The American Legion.

In his role as VAVS national representative, Cinquegrana will be tasked with securing representatives and deputies from the ranks of Sons of The American Legion members across the country covering more than 150 VA facilities. He will also be responsible for monitoring their performance, auditing their annual joint reviews, and attending conferences of the VA’s National Advisory Council.

Cinquegrana and his wife, Debbie, both natives of Newark, settled in Canandaigua 13 years ago. They serve on the upstate NY Chapter MS Society WALK MS Task Force. The task force that raises funds to fight Multiple Sclerosis has raised over $50,000 per year over the last few years.

The announcement of Cinquegrana’s new appointment came from the Sons of The American Legion Veteran’s Affairs & Rehabilitation Chairman Harl Ray, to VA Voluntary Service Director Sabrina Clark. The announcement stated in part: “Our new National Representative has the knowledge and experience to serve our organization and the VAVS very well and I know he will be a benefit for us both.”

Cinquegrana has held positions locally as squadron commander, county commander, and district vice-commander and adjutant. On the state level, he was public relations commission chair for the detachment of New York for four years, and is now the detachment’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission chairman. He is also currently the state webmaster, and has served on the National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission for the past two years.

Two years ago, he was named American Legion Family Member of the Year by the Department of New York. Three years ago, he received the National Charles B. Rigsby Award for his VA volunteer work — topping over 350,000 members at the national level.

At the Canandaigua VA Medical Center where Cinquegrana has volunteered for over 6 years, he recently exceeded 5,000 hours of service. He is a regular volunteer in the Voluntary Service Office, as well as taking on assignments in recreation, chaplain, and other services, and is chairman of the Voluntary Service executive committee.

He was named Volunteer of the Year at the Canandaigua VA several years ago, and last year was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, signed by President Donald Trump.