All-veterans picnic held in Westlake

On Saturday, Aug. 24, volunteers from the Bay Village Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9693, Bay Village American Legion Post 385, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249, held our third annual All Veterans Picnic.

The event was again held at the American Legion Post 385 Lodge on Cahoon Road in Westlake.  Over 70-75 people total attended at some point in the afternoon, including 36-38 veterans. Many attendees belong to our three host groups, but we did have a significant number of area veterans and guests not affiliated that visited from nearby. This was our goal – to reach out to other veterans and military in our greater West Shore area and bring them in for information, food and fellowship.

Each veteran was checked in and door prizes were awarded by a draw of names.  A 50/50 raffle was held; $116 was collected, and $58 will be added to our Veterans Honor Wall fund to help maintain the site in the Dwyer Center in Bay Village. The Honor Wall was dedicated last November and updated on May 25 to honor members from each of our three organizations that have passed away. The wall will also honor deceased veterans with a connection to Bay Village that may not have been a member of our posts. 

The VA Outreach coordinator, Connie Duensing was there providing information and assisting veterans and families. Tiffany Morgan was there representing A Place for Mom, and her unique job of coordinating with the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission to directly assist veterans seeking home care services for themselves or a spouse to family member that may be eligible. Together, both women provided excellent service and information and they were very appreciated.

Many of our joint members worked very hard to pull this off, but I would be remiss to not note the efforts of Ed Kus, John Jones, Stan Zeager, Patrick Graham, Geoff Kedzierski, Nick Brown, and my wife, Debbie, for their continued hard work during the entire event.

Our next Joint Organization Event will be the next update for the Veterans Honor Wall. Some names will be added to existing organization plaques with room and a new joint plaque will be targeted. This is scheduled during the Veterans Luncheon at the Dwyer Center on Nov. 8. Details will be announced as they become available. Veterans Honor Wall additions or observances will be held twice a year, the Saturday before Memorial Day and during the annual Veterans Luncheon near Veterans Day.

Look for more veteran-related information in the coming months and please tell a friend or neighbor that is a veteran about our organizations. We are all looking for new members. We will continue to server our veterans, military, families, and our community!

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Volume 11, Issue 17, Posted 9:50 AM, 09.04.2019