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Fundraisers needing more support than ever

Comrade Citizens; Not a whole lot going on this month, though both the local V.V.A. and DAV Chapters will be holding their annual elections this month (April) and there’s a kind of dire need for local veterans to step up and volunteer to be new officers, especially someone with accounting skills to serve as treasurers of both groups. (If you’re interested, meeting times are listed at the end of this Veterans News). The DAV Chapter is scrambling around trying to come up with nearly $7,000 it still needs to replace its aging van and a raffle is planned for now through mid-August with the prize being a Vietnam era M-14 rifle, a grand or so hoping to be raised. (Call Russ Fankell at 208-263-5419 for info on where to buy tickets.) They’ve also sent out grant applications to all of the local businesses and charities so if you have an idea for a fundraiser or would simply like to help, just stop by a monthly meeting or call Ross Jackman, the Commander, at 265-2738. You can also donate simply by swinging by Sandpoint’s Wells Fargo Bank (on 4th Street) and tell them its for the “DAV Van Fund.” As always, too, you can save your aluminum cans and donate them at Pacific Re-cycling (on Triangle Drive in Ponderay); just tell them its for the local Disabled American Veterans.

 Not only is every penny that’s hoped to be raised through the M-14 raffle going into the Van Fund but at their last meeting the Chapter voted to donate all of the proceeds of this year’s Memorial Day forget-me-not drive outside of Wal-Mart to the Van Fund as well. Usually the Chapter uses those dollars to help needy local veterans but, like everywhere lately, there’s going to be more belt-tightening. Last month alone, for example, the DAV Chapter gave $100 to help pay an area vet’s water bill (the V.V.A. kicking in another $100) and gave $50 towards groceries for a war widow. Next year by this time I’ll bet those gifts would be cut in half. The DAV’s donated nearly $1,000 in the past year as direct gifts to local individuals.

 As many of you know, over the past few years this Veterans News column runs an occasional “Where the Money Goes” article describing in some detail exactly where your donated funds go to. Both the local DAV and V.V.A. Chapters have been forthright and open in their books and accounting with me for the past three years but I’m sorry to report both the VFW and American Legion keep stalling. The last I heard was “in a couple more months” and I’ll let you know if and when I hear anything further or if at all. Despite three annual “Where the Money goes” reports from the V.V.A. and DAV in the past three years I’ve yet to get a single one from the VFW or American Legion.

Now here’s some of those local meeting times I promised you;

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at VFW Hall in Sandpoint (corner of Pine and Division) and for info you can call Commander Ross Jackman at 265-2738

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #890 meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6 pm at VFW Hall in Sandpoint (corner of Pine and Division) and for info you can call President Douglas Darling at 263-5803

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2453 meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at VFW Hall in Sandpoint (corner of Pine and Division) and for info you can call Commander Howard Bigelow at 263-9626

 You can find more info on other groups such as the American Legion, the Marine Corps League and the Women’s Auxiliaries as well as other surrounding organizations such as those in  Priest River, Clark Fork or Bonners Ferry by stopping by VFW Hall in Sandpoint or calling them at 263-9613.

 There’s a big summer coming up, besides the DAV Forget-me-not Drive over Memorial Day, there’s the July Stand-Down at the Fairgrounds, the V.V.A. Annual Yard and Rummage Sale in August and a whole lot more and volunteers are both needed and appreciated. Just swing by a meeting to volunteer to help or call one of the #’s for more info.

‘til next time, smoke ‘em if ya’ got ‘em and all Homage to Xena! 

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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