MacDill base chapel receives donation from President Bush

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
It is not an everyday occurrence to receive a letter from a former president of the United States and his family requesting that something be donated on their behalf. Steve Angelozzi, a retired federal Department of Defense employee with 33 years of experience with the U.S. Navy, received one such honor.

Angelozzi, a New Jersey native, was given the privilege of donating a rocking horse to the base chapel at MacDill Air Force base, Fla., on the behalf of former President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush. What makes this even more special is that Angelozzi built the rocking horse with his own two hands.

"I built my first rocking horse in 1988 for my 2-year-old son and am in the process of building my 41st now," said Angelozzi. "It normally takes 50 or more hours to make, so I spend about two or three hours a day within a five week period."

Many people will wonder how Angelozzi even came into contact with President and First Lady Bush.

"I am very fond of the Bush family," said Angelozzi. "So I decided to write them a letter expressing my desire to donate horse number 39 to the President and First Lady's newly born granddaughter Mila."

To the surprise and excitement of Angelozzi, a response in the form of a letter came back to him. The letter stated, unfortunately, that they were unable to accept the gift but donating it on their behalf would make them very appreciative.

Angelozzi decided he would give it to the nursery in the base chapel to be available for any children who would like to play with it.

Currently, Angelozzi has donated 8-10 rocking horses to various people and places to include a wounded warrior and an honor flight here in Florida, Operation Shoebox, and several charities in Virginia.

"I enjoy building them; I do it as a labor of love," said Angelozzi. "I give them to charities and good friends who are expecting grandchildren. I hope it gets put to good use...I'm pretty sure it will."