|Vietnam Veterans of America|
When members of Niagara County, New York, Chapter 268 learned that a local Boy Scout was restoring two dilapidated welcome signs for the Village of Middleport, they decided to come to his aid. “A chapter member brought this to our attention, I looked into it, came back to the chapter, and said that I felt it was worthwhile for us to sponsor it,” said Gordie Bellinger, the chapter’s treasurer. “One member said that he would donate $150 if the rest of the membership donated $150.” So in February the chapter sent a $300 check to the Scout Troup. After Eagle Scout Jacob Hagen recently completed the project—complete with the chapter’s logo on the signs—Bellinger, chapter Vice President Harry Houghtling, and President Robert Hull presented him with a certificate of recognition. “A lot of times we only get a letter back expressing thanks,” Houghtling said. “Having something like [the chapter logo on the signs] is a rarity.” Hagen said he “would not have been able to complete the project without [the chapter’s] help, so I thought that a sponsor was the least I could do to show my thanks.”
Westport, Massachusetts, Chapter 207 took part in an iPods for Wounded Veterans event in June in Westport. Chapter President Justin Latini worked with the organization to set up the event, during which volunteers served a meal to more than two dozen local veterans, including residents of the Veterans Transition House in New Bedford, and presented them with donated laptops, Bluetooth speakers, and other electronic devices,. The all-volunteer, nonprofit iPods for Wounded Veterans “is an amazing organization,” Latini said. “No one gets paid, which today is un-heard of.”
Memphis, Tennessee, Chapter 1113 held an open house in July at the chapter’s All Veterans Sportsplex, including the 46-acre Veterans Golfplex and Adaptive Sports Center, which concentrates on programs for physically disabled and blind veterans, and also is open to the general public. The Center, chapter President Leonard Perkins said, “offers services to veterans, such as haircuts, shoeshines, medical assistance, fellowship, and other amenities.” The chapter is planning to renovate the golf course and build an auditorium on the grounds of the facility, which the chapter acquired in 2019.
Tallahassee, Florida, Big Bend Chapter 96 hosted its eighth annual Independence Day commemoration at the Florida Historical Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on July 4th. The event included Chapter President Joe West, wearing his best Benjamin Franklin suit, reciting the Declaration of Independence on the front steps of the Historic Capitol, which was built in 1845 and has been restored to its 1902 appearance.
St. Lucie County, Florida, Chapter 566 held a fundraiser and membership drive early in July at Clover Park Field during a home game between the St. Lucie Mets and the Jupiter Hammerheads. The chapter also provided the color guard for the National Anthem. A few days earlier chapter members attended a ceremony at the new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Port St. Lucie honoring Herschel “Woody,” Williams, whose Woody Williams Foundation works to build Gold Star memorials throughout the country.
Butte County, California, Chapter 582 was one of 109 nonprofit organizations honored as Nonprofits of the Year at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on June 8—California Nonprofits Day. The chapter members “have been great partners for veterans and the community following multiple disasters and were pivotal in getting Paradise and Magalia residents who were burned out from the Camp Fire in rebuilding,” said Sadie Foster, the district coordinator and legislative aide for state Sen. Jim Nielsen, who chairs the California Senate Veterans Committee. “It is a deep honor to receive this award from Senator Nielsen,” Chapter 582 President Ron Matheson said. “It warms my heart to help Vietnam veterans get off the streets.” Nielsen said that the “services and support VVA 582 provides our Vietnam veterans are vital and are a powerful contribution to their quality of life in Senate District 4.”
Huntington, West Virginia, Chapter 949, working with the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, held its eleventh annual Military and Veterans Appreciation Picnic for military service members, veterans, and guests on June 4, at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington. The event included free food, live music, door prizes, displays of military vehicles and equipment and classic and antique cars. Chapter members and other volunteers served picnic lunches to more than 1,300 people. The event’s many sponsors included Mountain Health Network of Huntington, Gallia County, Ohio, Chapter 709, and the local Iron Workers Union.
Silver Spring, Maryland, Chapter 641 took home the first place prize for Military and Veterans Organizations with its entry — which included marching chapter members and friend, and the chapter Color Guard — in the 78th annual City of Rockville (Maryland) Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade.
Chapter 70 at the Moberly Correctional Center in Moberly, Missouri, held its 38th annual Banquet on July 25, bringing together veterans incarcerated, the prison staff, and outside guests and featuring Keynote speaker, retired Army Col. Anthony Monaco. The chapter’s community-service donations in 2022 have included $200 contributions to the Family Life Fellowship Church in Moberly; Patriot Outreach; Catholic War Veterans; and the Veterans' Voices Writing Project in Kansas City. The chapter donated $400 to support a program sending humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
Central New Hampshire Chapter 41 in recent years has presented five $500 college merit scholarships to graduating high school seniors. In a ceremony held on June 5 at a church in Concord, Chapter President Ray Goulet and chapter members Wayne Nelson, Larry Maurice, Linda Banfill, Paul Lanteigne, Jean Gosselin, Frank Farrell, and Mark Carney presented the scholarships to Benjamin Bahoque of Bedford High School; Kaitlyn Bossart of John Stark Regional High School; Rorie Cochrane, Bow High School; Alexandra Elliot, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy; and Wade Fisher, Merrimack Valley High School.
Members of Munising, Michigan, Chapter 237 pitched in to help install several murals adjacent to the All Veterans Memorial at Binsfeld Bayshore Park in Munising in July. Each mural honors a different branch of the armed services; the memorial commemorates the service of all of the veterans of Alger County. “We knew this would be a good location for [the murals] because we have a lot of veterans visiting the area,” said Munising Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kathy Reynolds. “Not only local veterans, but also a lot of veterans visiting the area that do come down here, they do see it, and they do get a chance to enjoy it.”
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