Charitable video raffle program provides funding for Ohio veteran’s burial

Program surpasses $14.5 million raised for Ohio charities


Columbus OH (June 11, 2015) – John L. Brooks was a 1975 graduate of Meadowdale High School in Dayton. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a member of the 19th Air Refueling Wing also known as the “Black Knights” during the Gulf War.


After his service in the military, Mr. Brooks became estranged from his family and passed away on April 12th 2015. Unfortunately, his family was unable to afford the expense of his burial.


Gus Bitali, a fellow Air Force veteran and member of the 19th Air Refueling Wing learned of Mr. Brooks’ death through the Black Knights’ Facebook page. Gus was bothered by the thought of a fellow veteran not receiving a proper burial. “I was disturbed to hear that the body of a fellow Black Knight might be turned over the coroner due to lack of funds for a burial” said Mr. Bitali. So he reached out the VFW of Ohio Charities to see if the organization could help pay the cost.


VFW of Ohio Charities provided funding for the burial and Mr. Brooks was laid to rest with honor at Dayton National Cemetery. “All veterans who served our nation deserve to be buried with dignity,” said Bill Seagraves, Director of VFW of Ohio Charities. “It sounds like Mr. Brooks encountered some difficult times after his service. We were honored to help. It’s the least we could do to show respect for his service.”


Funds for the burial expenses were provided through the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Coalition’s charitable video raffle program. As of June, the OVFCC charitable video raffle program has helped raise over $14.5 million for veterans and fraternal groups and their local charities. Organizations keep fifty percent of the revenue to support their posts and lodges and fifty percent is given to local charities and causes such as rent payments and burial expenses and for indigent veterans.


The OVFCC is the voice of more than 2.1 million members and their families who are active in more than 1,700 posts and clubs throughout the State of Ohio. The OVFCC is an unincorporated association that was established in 2003 to achieve consensus and develop policy on various issues affecting Ohio veterans and fraternal organizations. Member organizations have input regarding charitable gaming as well as legislation, rules and regulations that impact veterans and fraternal organizations.



OVFCC President Bill Seagraves can be reached for further comment at (614) 222-1611


For more information about the OVFCC, please visit

June 11th, 2015

Charitable video raffle program funds innovative brain injury therapy for Ohio veteran


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy shows promising results

Columbus, Ohio (April 9, 2015) – Jeremy Lanham served two tours in Iraq with the United States Army.  During that time he was exposed to several large explosions, receiving multiple concussions and suffering injuries to his brain.  The injuries went untreated and as a result, Jeremy suffered extreme migraine headaches and was unable to sleep for years.


Jeremy became aware of Sara’s Garden, a facility in Wauseon Ohio that provides Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).   HBOT is the administration of 100% oxygen in the presence of pressure, which can help the body heal from conditions in which low oxygen in the tissues inhibits or complicates the healing process.


Jeremy was excited to try the therapy and hopefully find relief from severe migraines and sleeplessness, but traditional health care would not pay for the treatments.


Jeremy’s situation was shared with the VFW of Ohio Charities, which agreed to pay for his treatments on an experimental basis.  “When we heard about Jeremy’s struggles to live a normal life due to his war injuries, we were eager to fund his treatments and determine if this could help him, and if it might be an option for other veterans who are suffering similar symptoms,” said Bill Seagraves, Director of VFW of Ohio Charities.


Jeremy’s treatments have been funded with revenue generated by the Ohio Veteran and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC) charitable video raffle program.  Since its inception, the video raffle program has raised over $13 million to support posts, lodges and charitable causes like Jeremy’s treatments.  The funds are split evenly between the organizations and the local charitable causes they support, much of which helps veterans and their families who need a helping hand.



Jeremy received an intensive regimen of two one-hour treatments per day for eight weeks.  Since his treatments began, Jeremy has experienced no severe headaches and has regained the ability to sleep soundly for extended periods of time.  “I haven’t had that in years and years, and it’s had a massive impact on my ability to function every day,” says Jeremy.


Jeremy is excited not only about his own improvement, but also what this could mean for other suffering veterans if they had access to this type of therapy.  “Hopefully we could dramatically minimize the twenty-two veteran suicides that we are currently seeing every day.”


After further evaluation of Jeremy’s results, Seagraves says VFW of Ohio Charities will consider an ongoing partnership with Sarah’s Garden to treat many more veterans with brain injuries.

April 9th, 2015

American Legion Department of Ohio Charities partner with Fallen 15 for the inaugural Veteran Women’s 5K



The American Legion Department of Ohio Charities has partnered with Fallen 15 to honor Ohio’s women veterans with the inaugural Veteran Women’s 5K. The race will be held on March 28th in Dublin, OH.


“The American Legion, our members, and our charity is proud to make this $3,000 contribution to Fallen 15 in support for an event that brings much needed attention to Ohio’s veteran women veteran,” said Suzette Price, Service Director for the American Legion Department of Ohio.


The American Legion and its charity understand the importance of supporting events like the Women Veterans 5K.


“There are over 70,000 women veterans in Ohio who have played, or continue to play, an important role in the mission of the United States military. Events like this allow all citizens in Ohio to celebrate the service and sacrifices that they have made on behalf of our country,” said Ms. Price.


The American Legion is a charter member of the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC), a group that been helpful in providing much needed support for charities like the American Legion Department of Ohio Charities. This support, in turn, allows the American Legion to assist and promote events like the Women Veterans 5K and groups like Fallen 15.


One such program is the OVFCC’s charitable video raffle program.


“The charitable video raffle program has been an important part of our efforts to keep post doors open,” Ms. Price said. “Ohio veterans need a place to go and socialize with other veterans, including women veterans”.


Please come out and support the Veteran Women’s 5K run.

March 27th, 2015