The local American Legion Post 25 recently hosted a “22-a day benefit” that was held in collaboration with the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and Legion Riders.
According to Tracy Thomas, president of the American Legion Riders, the benefit began in December and ended with the Annual Legion Riders Polar Bear Run. The purpose of the benefit was to raise awareness for the number of veterans who commit suicide as, on average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
The Polar Bear Run has been held for over 20 years and typically includes a breakfast and ride with participants asked to bring in canned goods and/or monetary donations to go toward projects for local veterans.
“We were able to have a DJ, 50/50 (raffle), T-shirts and food which included smoked alligator. We also accepted non-perishable items and monetary donations,” wrote Thomas via email.
The organizations were able to donate many non-perishable items as well as a total of $4,025 to the Veterans Military Resource Center thanks to the benefit.
The Military Veterans Resource Center, located at 631 Central Center in Chillicothe, offers services to any veteran of the US armed forces, active duty service members, and to members of the National Guard and Reserves – even if they never deployed, according to www.milvetsrc.org/services/.
The website further explains: “The Road Home from military service is easy for some but difficult for others. Not all transitions are a smooth open road with no obstacles ahead. Some vets get lost in traffic and the wheels come off in their lives due to loss of income, disability, mental issues, substance abuse and other factors. They may become dependent on government assistance or charity from others. At Military Veterans Resource Center, our goal is to help veterans regain their self-reliance and independence.
“We believe the best way to do this is to help them identify barriers they face and access the resources they need to overcome those barriers. To keep them on track each veteran we help is assigned a Veterans Services Specialist or coach who acts as a battle buddy throughout their transition. Our Veterans Services Specialists help them come up with a self improvement plan where together they establish life goals, identify what is keeping them from achieving those goals, and develop and follow through on a plan to overcome those barriers and achieve their goals.”
To learn more, visit the Military Veterans Resource Center website.
“We believe the benefit was a huge success. This was our first time in doing a benefit like this,” wrote Thomas. “Special Thank you to all of those involved in helping and supporting this event which made it a huge success.”
Stay tuned for the next Legion Riders event as members will be holding a Formal/Informal Valentine’s Dinner and Dance on Feb. 12.
The event is planned to include dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. with a DJ to follow from 8 p.m. to midnight. Dinner includes pork chops, green beans, cheesy potatoes, a roll and dessert.
According to Thomas, pre-sale tickets are $10 per person or $15 per couple. Tickets bought at the door will be $15 per person or $20 per couple. The price includes the dinner and the dance. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Vicki Horney and Bev Osborne Memorial Fund, which gives grants for students.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.