The impacts of the coronavirus at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Ohio Charities are significant. Pryor to the pandemic, VFWOC was on track to break $6 million dollars per year for Charity. In January of 2020 we brought in $481, 492.50 and would have averaged ½ million per month this year.
Due to this loss we have had to pause our sponsorship programs to local charities all around the state of Ohio such as scouts, boys’ and girls’ clubs, schools, ROTC programs and First Responders to name a few. We also had to scale back on helping Veterans, their family members and those in their community who struggled to pay their bills due to injury or illness. We are still supporting food pantries and those who need assistance with medications and emergency medical supplies as well as purchasing PPE equipment for the VA hospitals and supplying them with food vouchers.
However, if our Posts and Clubs do not get to open soon that too will become a challenge. The long-term effects of this pandemic will be catastrophic for some of our Posts and it may take us a very long time to get back to those numbers.
We are certain that the passing of HB 282 will speed up our recovery time. That is why it is imperative that we get resolution on it as soon as possible. Thanks for all you are doing for the Veterans and Fraternal organizations!April 22nd, 2020
Columbus, Ohio (February 15, 2018) – VFW of Ohio Charities has donated $4,000 to the families of two Westerville police officers who were slain in the line of duty this past Saturday while responding to a 911 call.
“This is a tragic loss for the officers’ families, the Westerville community and our nation,” said Bill Seagraves, Director of VFW of Ohio Charities. “Like all first responders, officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli courageously put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect their community, and sadly they lost their lives. We have a moral obligation to support these heroes’ families.”
The funds were donated through the CME Federal Credit Union and divided equally between each officer’s family.
VFW of Ohio Charities’ donation has been made possible through the use of a statewide charitable electronic raffle program operated by the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC) at posts and lodges throughout Ohio. Since it began in 2011, the video raffle program has raised over $35 million for charities.February 15th, 2018
VFW Ohio Charities’ $53,000 donation helps make 2017 games possible
Columbus, Ohio (March 13, 2017) – The 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games are coming to Ohio this summer!
Cincinnati will host the games July 17 – 22, with over 600 veterans from the United States and Great Britain competing in the events.
The games are organized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the nonprofit Paralyzed Veterans of America.
VFW Ohio Charities is a top financial sponsor of the 2017 games, donating $53,000 to the event.
VFW of Ohio Charities’ support of the games has been made possible because of charitable video raffle games at VFW posts throughout Ohio. Since the video raffle program began in 2011, over $26.5 million has been raised for charities like the wheelchair games.
“Prior to the video raffle, our revenues were declining year after year,” said Bill Seagraves, director of the VFW of Ohio Charities. “With new technology and video forms of gaming, paper games are losing interest. Video raffles have given new life to our organizations’ ability to raise funds to support themselves and local charities.”
But veterans and fraternal leaders are concerned that the video raffle program is in jeopardy. In 2013, Attorney General Mike DeWine stated that the program was illegal and ordered it shut down. The groups disagreed and quickly obtained a temporary restraining order allowing the program to proceed, pending a court decision, which is expected within weeks. The groups are hopeful they will win their court case and continue to be able to raise vital funds from veterans and their members to support their posts and charities at no cost to taxpayers.
March 14th, 2017
Hundreds of Ohio charities benefit from support
Columbus, Ohio (January 11, 2017) – Ohio charities have benefited from over $25 million in revenue since 2011 thanks to a video raffle program implemented by veterans and fraternal organizations.
The Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC) announced this week that its video raffle program has reached a major milestone by hitting the $25 million mark in funds raised for charity. They raised over $7,250,000 in 2016 alone.
The funds directly benefit veterans’ posts, fraternal lodges and hundreds of local charities. Fifty percent of the revenue supports the posts and lodges and fifty percent supports local charities in communities across Ohio.
“Our financial support of local charities is vital to their mission,” said OVFCC president Bill Seagraves. “We are honored to be able to help our communities, and the video raffle program plays a major role in making this possible.”
For the Ohio State Aerie of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, OVFCC board member and past president Jim Donaldson says that the charitable electronic raffle project is important to an effort that is near and dear to his heart.
“My special charity has been the ‘the walking machine’ project at The Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and their affiliate, the NeuroRecovery Network,” Donaldson said. “Much of the money in our Lew Reed Spinal Cord Injury Fund comes from Eagle clubs that participate in the charitable raffle program. During my five years on the OVFCC board, my other passion has become implementing a successful and accountable video raffle program. Since the OVFCC started that program, we have helped raise over $4 million dollars for Eagle charities and Aeries across the state. It’s a great tool for our clubs and the charities they support and continues to be a step in the right direction for our Aeries to embrace their charitable efforts, as well as pay some of our internal pressing needs.”
“This electronic raffle program is going to help purchase another body-weight support system that would double the Wexner Medical Center’s treatment capacity and reduce their patient waiting list,” said Donaldson. “Isn’t that something? Just think of the impact this will have on future patients and their families.”
The electronic raffle program has caused other OVFCC member organizations to see a significant rise in revenue to their clubs and posts, allowing them to contribute back to their respective communities and charities in many ways.
Below is a sampling of just some of the important work veterans and fraternal organizations are doing to support local charitable causes that are so vital to our local communities throughout Ohio. These initiatives have been made possible through funds raised by the video raffle program:
- 92-year-old Central Ohio woman offers quilting talents to brighten the lives of military veterans
- Video raffle program continues to fund oxygen therapy for injured veterans
- Video raffle program helps central Ohio homeless veterans
- Ohio Eagles continue to have positive impact on spinal cord injury patients through charitable contributions
- Charitable video raffle program provides funding for Ohio veteran’s burial
- Charitable video raffle program funds innovative brain injury therapy for Ohio veteran
- American Legion Department of Ohio Charities partner with Fallen 15 for the inaugural Veteran Women’s 5K
- Charitable video raffle helps deceased soldier’s family keep their home
- OVFCC raffle funds have helped provide well over $100,000 to the Wright Patterson Airmen & Family Readiness Center
- OVFCC members help veterans in need at Central Ohio Stand Down
- OVFCC raffle funds help pay burial cost for slain veteran
- VFW partners with high school students to provide wheelchair ramps for veterans
But veterans and fraternal leaders are concerned that the video raffle program is in jeopardy. In 2013, Attorney General Mike DeWine said that the program was illegal and ordered it shut down. The groups disagreed and quickly obtained a temporary restraining order allowing the program to proceed, pending a court decision, which is expected within weeks. The groups are hopeful they will win their court case and continue to be able to raise vital funds to support their posts and charities at no cost to taxpayers.
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 ovfcc.orgJanuary 11th, 2017
Veterans receiving innovative oxygen therapy thanks to charitable video raffle program
Columbus, Ohio (January 13, 2016) – Veterans who have received difficult to heal acute wounds or traumatic brain injuries while serving in the military are receiving help through funding provided by a veterans and fraternal video raffle program.
In April of 2015, VFW of Ohio Charities (VFWOC) began funding experimental Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments for veterans suffering from war-related injuries in partnership with Sara’s Garden, a treatment center in Wauseon, Ohio.
The treatments have been funded with revenue generated by the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition (OVFCC) charitable video raffle program. Since its inception in 2011, the program has raised over $18 million to support posts, lodges and charitable causes like HBOT treatments.
Attorney General Mike DeWine has said the program is illegal and ordered it shut down in 2013. Veterans and fraternal organizations disagreed and quickly obtained a temporary restraining order allowing the program to proceed, pending a court trial, which is set for this June. The groups are hopeful they will win their court case and continue to be able to raise vital funds to support their posts and charities at no cost to taxpayers.
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. Since HBOT is still considered experimental, traditional health care usually does not cover treatments.
The VFWOC became aware of the potential of HBOT to change injured veterans’ lives and decided to fund treatments for a few military patients in order to evaluate its effectiveness. Several veterans and active duty personnel have now been treated with great success.
The first veteran to receive treatments through VFWOC funding was Jeremy Lanham, who served two tours in Iraq with the Army where he was exposed to several large explosions, receiving multiple concussions and suffering injuries to his brain. The injuries went untreated for some time, and as a result, Jeremy suffered extreme migraine headaches and was unable to sleep for years. Jeremy received an intensive regimen of two one-hour treatments per day for eight weeks. Since completing his treatments, 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.
Click HERE to see a video interview with Jeremy about his progress.
Andrew Rupp is still actively serving in the Army and is currently in the process of recovering from surgery and an infection at a hospital at Fort Bragg. The VFWOC funded HBOT treatments for Andrew to help his body heal.
“You and this organization have given me more than I am able to repay,” said Andrew. “I want to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to heal. I am slotted to attend Ranger Assessment in April, and with out these treatments I would not have been ready to be successful and continue my Army career.”
Brock Dodrill is a Toledo-area Army veteran who suffers from PTSD. He received 40 treatments and has shown tremendous improvement. His father Brad says that while he is not willing to claim Brock’s symptoms have completely subsided, he and his wife Sherry “better recognize Brock as the son we knew prior to Iraq.”
“We are excited about the impact this program is having on the quality of life of our veterans,” said Bill Seagraves, Director of VFW of Ohio Charities. “As we become aware of veterans who might benefit from HBOT treatments, we will continue to fund the treatments as much as we are able. And we will push forward with our lawsuit in order to maintain our ability to provide funding for vital programs.”
January 13th, 2016