The St. James VFW Post 5608 will be holding a comedy night fundraiser on Saturday, September 21 to raise money for the VFW Veterans Service Officer Fund. Veterans of Comedy was a huge success last year, raising nearly $1,000 for the VFW National Homes for Children program. This year, new comedians will be visiting the post for a fun night of dinner and laughs.
Tickets are being sold for $15 in advance. Dinner is $7.50. Doors open at 3 p.m., with dinner served from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 8 p.m. Performers for the evening are Troy Gittings, Tui Fu Panda, and Will Clifton, all veterans.
This year, funds raised from the event will go to a new need. “Last year, the National Homes for Children got a donation of $400,000 from a Missouri Post for the National Homes for Children. The Missouri Home at the National Home for Children is now funded for the next, we’re told, 99 years,” Post Commander Nathan Howard explained. “So, we said we’re going to help the Veterans Service Officer Fund because this fund is what allows us to provide accredited service officers across the state of the Missouri. This is what pays for that, because all of our service officers are paid employees. They are nationally certified and accredited and that is their job-to work for veterans in the state of Missouri to make sure they get the benefits they’ve earned from the VA,” he said.
“As everyone knows, there is a lot of red tape and it’s hard to do by yourself, but we provide, free of charge, service officers to help veterans. Not just VFW eligible veterans, but any veteran,” Howard said. Many of these services, he added, help veterans get to resources they might need, in many cases, without the need of a lawyer to help. Veteran Service Officers know the different programs and resources available and can guide veterans to those programs.
Last year, the post raised $997 through the Veterans of Comedy night and Howard hopes to break the $1,000 goal this year. “America has been at war for over 15 years now. So, that means there are more veterans returning home that need more benefits now. There are more veterans eligible for benefits now than there ever has been before. We’ve had to add Service Officers (because of that). This is how we pay for that,” Howard said. “It’s more important that we raise more for this than ever before.” He added the back log for officers is very long and more are needed, and funds generated through the event will help.
VFW Post 5608 is located at 18775 State Route KK in St. James. To learn more about the Veterans of Comedy night, contact the post at 573-265-7755 or visit them on Facebook.
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