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Louisville VA Medical Center

 

Hustlin' for Dough

A group of Southern Indiana Veterans from various organizations have banded together in order to help Veterans in need.

Kentuckiana Task Force presented checks worth over $6500 to the Robley Rex VAMC Voluntary Service Program January 22nd. From left to right are: Jason Beck, Jeff Barker, and Charlie Koehler from the Sons of American Legion Squadron 42; Rhonda Parero, Voluntary Service Specialist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center; Don Harshey, Elks Lodge 270; and Linda Daning, American Legion Auxiliary Post 28.

By Laura Schafsnitz, Robley Rex VAMC Public Affairs Specialist
Friday, February 7, 2014

Kentuckiana Organizations do what it takes to raise money for Needy Veterans

They sing, they dance, they host motorcycle runs.  Whatever the hustle, Veterans Task Force of Kentuckiana is will do it, if it means they can make a little dough to help Veterans.

At a ceremony at the American Legion Post 28 in New Albany, Indiana January 22, Veterans Task Force of Kentuckiana showed how they spend their dough by presenting over $6500 in checks to Robley Rex Voluntary Services.

Why? Group leader Don Harshey says that because they are Veterans representing Veteran Organizations throughout Southern Indiana, that they want the money they raise to be used helping other Veterans.

“I am a Vietnam Vet (1966-72 USMC),” Harshey said, “and after a 15 year break I re-enlisted into the US Army Reserve in 1985, and served until 2006. I had heard a story about a Veteran who had no clothes being released from the VA hospital and a member from the local VFW asked the group for donations to buy him new ones.”

“When I looked into the situation,” Harvey continued, “I discovered that there are no Federal funds available for such items. I called on my friends at each post to meet and attack the issue.”

These friends came together and formed the Veterans Task Force of Kentuckiana.  They began raising ‘comfort item’ money for Veterans in 2007 with a Karaoke Idol Contest that rotated from club to club during the months of September and October. 

Then, they kept going.

“There was a contest in 2007, 08, 09, 10, 11, and 12, and each year additional fundraising events were added,” Harshey said.  “Different groups conducted road blocks, half and half pots, donations and raffles, special events such as dinners, comedy shows, etc., and the proceeds were earmarked for the Veterans fund.  The Elks 270 in New Albany hosted the funds accountability that added an additional source of funds from the State Elks of Indiana. Each club basically did small fund raising activities year round that were compiled at the end.”

Veterans Task Force of Kentuckiana has raised a lot of dough.  Since 2007, they have donated over $63,000 to Robley Rex.  And as Harshey says, that dough is “…used in accounts where no Federal, State, or tax money is available.”  Accounts that include money for the little things in life:  sticks of deodorant, soap, shampoo, a warm blanket, a pair of shoes.  Things that we don’t think twice about when we’re picking it up at the grocery store, but for a Veteran in need, means the world.

Harshey says that there are no plans to stop raising money.  Upcoming events include more karaoke contests, fundraisers, and also a major event planned during Armed Forces Appreciation this May—a motorcycle run they’re calling “Thunder Through New Albany”. 

For more information about how you can donate your time or money to Veterans, contact Robley Rex VAMC Voluntary Service coordinator Rhonda Parero at rhonda.parero@va.gov or call 502-287-6898. You can also donate online by clicking on our E-donate link on our Voluntary Service webpage.

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