Monthly Archives: June 2015

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