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JOURNAL NEWS 3-24-11By Michael Risinit

PUTNAM LAKE — The definition of family will get a bit bigger Saturday night when hundreds of well-wishers come together to support a Marine who lost part of his legs in Afghanistan.

Lance Cpl. John G. Curtin, who was wounded in February by an improvised explosive device, is recovering in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Curtin grew up in Wingdale, Dutchess County, but his parents are originally from Southeast, and some family members have moved back in recent years.

Putnam County is now Curtin's hometown of record.

Saturday's fundraiser of food and music at the Putnam Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars post is the latest in a string of get-togethers that have sought to raise money for Curtin and his family. The funds go toward helping his family be with him while he heals and for other costs not covered by the military.

"It's just family being family. He can't believe people are doing so much for him," said Katie Galloway, an aunt.

The support has come as a pleasant surprise, said Ed Gerrity, a cousin and a Putnam Lake VFW member.

"The community stepped up. I didn't know how they were going to react," he said. "It really makes me proud."

Saturday's event is from 7 p.m. to midnight. The VFW post is at 4 Fairfield Drive in Patterson. Tickets are $20 at the door. Up to 500 people are expected, post Commander Harvey Strode said. A tent will be set up for any overflow, he said. "It might be chilly outside, but hopefully people will feel warm with what they're doing," Strode said.