On December 7th and 8th, VFW and American Legion Posts in the Mansfield, Ohio area are following a recent trend in giving back during the holiday season.
Crestline, Ohio VFW Post 2920 and Galion American Legion Post #243, proud members of the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition, are joining forces with WMFD-TV in Mansfield, along with FedEx, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and Sugargrove Tree Farm to try and fill a FedEx truck with Christmas trees to deliver to our troops at various Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Bases.
The trees can be purchased and donated for just $25 at the Sugargrove Tree Farm, located in Ashland, Ohio.
Trees for Troops is a national program that aims to “deliver the spirit of Christmas to military families – one Christmas Tree at a time”. Since 2005, the charity has provided more than 122,000 trees to military families both home, and abroad. This year’s goal is to send over 140,000 trees to military families and bases. It’s an ambitious undertaking that will be tackled by over 30 tree farms in 13 states, including four farms in Ohio alone.
Ashland VFW Post 1067, Shelby American Legion Post #326 and Bellville American Legion Post #535 are also proud supporters of this weekend’s event.
The OVFCC supports Trees for Troops, the Sugargrove Tree Farm and Mansfield area OVFCC members as they serve military members all over the world this weekend!
When two of their members needed wheelchair ramps, local students at Crestline High School took it upon themselves to build the ramps, with a tab picked up by the VFW. One of the ramps was installed at the home of a member who otherwise can’t get out of her house, and another was installed for a 95-year old World War II veteran.
WMFD-TV in Masfield had their cameras rolling, documenting the installation of the ramps, and showcasing the great partnership between both the VFW, and Crestline High School.
“It’s great that we have the opportunity to work together as a community and come together as a community,” said VFW 2920 Quartermaster Kari Pfeifer.
The project was funded by the VFW Charities of Ohio and by charitable funds from the VFW Post, none of which would be possible without the OVFCC Charitable Raffle Program, according to the Post Commander.
The OVFCC is proud to count VFW Post 2920 as one of the many organizations using the Charitable Raffle Program for great causes, big and small.
The Ohio Lottery’s recent proposal to add “next generation” electronic charitable gaming machines for veterans and fraternal groups’ locations has been met with a resounding “no” from leaders of the state’s prominent veterans and fraternal leaders, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
“…leaders of six statewide organizations sent a letter yesterday to Gov. John Kasich and state legislators, saying they don’t want the machines. The letter was signed by state leaders of the American Legion, VFW and AMVETS, plus the Moose, Eagles and Elks lodges.
They said the lottery deal would not provide posts and lodges with enough money to cover operating costs and continue giving money to charity. They noted that ‘much if not all of our charitable support would dry up.’”
The proposal is up for approval by the State of Ohio’s Controlling Board in early December, and is backed by Governor Kasich’s Administration, but the letter from Ohio’s leading veterans and fraternal groups will likely play a role in whether or not the proposal continues its movement.
The Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC) supports a different, better option recently put forth by State Representative Rick Perales in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 325 is aimed at clarifying existing legislation, which would allow organizations to add to the over $5 million already donated to local and national charities, rather than contributing almost solely to education, to which all Ohio Lottery programs donate.
The OVFCC urges all veterans and fraternal members to reach out to their district’s lawmakers to support H.B. 325, which establishes a fair and transparent means for their organizations to support their lodges and other charitable endeavors.
After over a year of contemplation, feedback, edits and advising, yesterday can only be described as a landmark for veterans’ and fraternal groups in the state of Ohio.
Representative Rick Perales (R – Beavercreek) introduced House Bill 325 last night in the Ohio House of Representatives, asking for the Ohio Legislation to clarify the rules for charitable gaming in the state, and to continue the charitable efforts of veterans and fraternal organizations.
Rep. Perales, a 15-year veteran of the United States Air Force, knows clarifying the laws in Ohio is a dramatic step in continuing the charitable efforts of Ohio’s veterans’ and fraternal organizations.
“This legislation (House Bill 325) is essential to helping veterans and fraternal organizations continue the good works made possible by the video raffle program in recent years,” said Rep. Perales. “It’s very unfortunate that these programs have been put in jeopardy. It’s time that the General Assembly moves forward and shows its support for those who have served their country so valiantly.”
“I am very fortunate to have many current military members and veterans in my home area and I have seen firsthand what this program accomplishes,” Rep. Perales said. “Homeless veterans have been sheltered, struggling families have received food donations and the list goes on. I am sure if my colleagues check with charities in their areas, they will hear the same stories and see the same results.”
The full statement from Rep. Perales’s office can be found by clicking here.
Stay tuned to the OVFCC Website and Blog for the most up to date information, as H.B. 325 moves through the legislature.
In light of the recent comments of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, at least one newspaper thinks that Mr. DeWine and the Ohio Legislature should give veterans’ and fraternal organizations a fair way to raise funds for their organizations and the over 400 charities they support.
Appearing in the editorial section of the October 21st edition, the Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register feels the time has come for legislation that helps so many to be part of the legislative agenda for the Ohio State House of Representatives and the Senate.
Most of the proceeds appear to go to worthy causes. Some veterans’ organizations may need money from the machines merely to stay afloat. And during the past two years, the veterans’ groups have donated $5.4 million in raffle machine proceeds to various charities…
Legislators should consider allowing the electronic raffle machines, with tight limits intended to benefit only legitimate veterans’ and fraternal organizations.
To date, the OVFCC electronic raffle program has raised over $5.5 million for charity, working with the Attorney General and the Ohio Legislature to create the most transparent and fair system of its kind. Recently, over 200 members of state-wide veteran and fraternal organizations gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in support of the OVFCC program, hoping to encourage legislators to take up the matter.
As Ohio state legislators prepare to begin the 2013 Fall Session, the OVFCC calls on its members to stand in support of one another on Wednesday, October 16th at 11:00am at the Ohio Statehouse Building.
The OVFCC supports legislation that benefits not only veterans and fraternal organizations, but also supports over 400 charities statewide. The state law must be clarified to allow charitable video gaming at veterans and fraternal organizations. It is imperative that we show our support for one another and for these charities on October 16th.
The OVFCC offers the only form of gaming that benefits charities and we deserve the right to continue to conduct video gaming. We can’t afford to wait any longer! Free parking and shuttle service will be offered starting at 10:00am from Veterans’ Memorial at 300 West Broad Street in Downtown Columbus.
For more information on this important, one-time event, please contact Bill Seagraves at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 614.946.4099.
More details about the event can be viewed on the attached PDF.