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DAV Van Drive Hits High Gear with Anonymous Donation

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The local Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 had some encouraging news last week in their attempts to purchase a $13,000 DAV transportation van to ferry area veterans to and from their doctor’s appointments at Spokane’s VAMC. A veteran near Hope (who wishes to remain anonymous) has offered to match any dollars the DAV Chapter manages to raise during their July Fund Drive up to $5,000. The anonymous vet read the article about the project in last issue’s TRJ and called the Chapter Commander, Joe DeForest, informing him he’d pledge up to $5,000 if the Bonner County community would match his gift.

That pledge led to a flurry of networking and outright “begging” by Sandpoint’s DAV Chapter, who’ve placed donation jars at Dub’s Drive-in, Dairy Depot, Merwin’s, Ben Franklin’s, Sandpoint Super Drugs and other area businesses. Don Carr, the county’s Veterans Service Officer, spoke briefly at the Thursday breakfast gathering of Business Networking International and managed to raise over $450. (Thanks to Sandy Compton, Energy Electric, Barbara Perusse, Carol Curtis, Robert McCoy, and Jacqueline Albright.) Another $50 has been donated anonymously by members of the public to the Wells Fargo Bank in Sandpoint, where a special account has been set up to collect contributions. (Donations may be made there to “DAV Van Fund.”) The “Third of July Forget-me-Not” drive at Wal-Mart brought in an impressive  $ 1,107.  (Thanks again to our DAV Panhandler/Helpers in the hot sun: Trish Gannon, “Bean” Johnson, George Eskridge, Steve Elgar, (our top fundraiser for the day with $140), Russ Fankell, and Marianne Love.) All told, the total now stands (in cash and future pledges) at $3,500 of the $13,000 needed as DAV Chapter #15’s portion of the funds required.

“That’s a great start,” says Chapter #15 Adjutant Ross Jackman, “but we’ve still got a long way to go. Take it a step at a time, take two salt tablets and drive on!”  

The DAV ‘s annual Used Book Sale on Saturday, July 17 (from 9 am to 3 pm at Sandpoint’s VFW Hall) is fast approaching so mark your calendars! The event will be held in conjunction with the Vietnam Veterans of America (Chap. 890) yearly Yard/Rummage Sale. A bikini car wash, bake sale, and raffle are also now being planned to benefit the Van Fund.

A special thanks from the DAV Chapter goes out to the good folks at Wal-Mart who we ambushed shopping that day as well as to the friendly and helpful staff there. One person left a hundred dollar bill in the collection jar and another helpful citizen left a $400 check! Thanks too to the Daily Bee, who donated free advertising, (as did the River Journal, of course, thanks Trish!) All in all, we had a good time, met some new friends, and raised some dollars for a good cause. 

I’d like to remind the many new veterans we met during the Fund Drive that the Veterans’ meeting times are: Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 890—second Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. VFW Post 2453—third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm.  DAV Chap. # 15—third  Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm. All meetings are held at the VFW Hall in Sandpoint.

Once again, thanks to our many helpers and friends. Contributions may still be dropped off at Sandpoint’s Well-Fargo Bank c/o “DAV Van Fund.” A splendid time was had by all!

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Chuck Haddad

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DAV, DAV van, Disabled American Veterans

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