Veterans' organizations host dinner fundraiser in Folsom

Folsom Lake Entertainer
By: Margaret Snider, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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Who:  Folsom veterans’ organizations
What: Land, sea and air fundraiser dinner
When:  7 p.m., Saturday, May 18. No host bar at 5 p.m.
Where:  Folsom Veterans’ hall, 1300 Veterans Way, Folsom
Cost:  $40
Info:  (916) 985-7911 or (916) 952-8710

FOLSOM, CA - Folsom veterans’ organizations are hosting a dinner fundraiser at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at the Folsom Veterans’ Hall.

Christina Quinlan, who is associated with the Marine Corps League and has experience putting on events for Rotary and various charities, said that Bob Repar, chairman of the event and member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) asked her if she would consider putting on a crab feed for them.

“I suggested that there are lots and lots of crab feeds going on in Folsom,” Quinlan said. “Why not do something a little differently? I came up with the concept of surf, turf, and chirp, a kind of endearing name for land, sea and air, which is what the military serves and protects.”

The preparation of the dinner will be directed by VFW member Chad Fields, who is an experienced restaurateur. It will be served by ROTC members.

“We’re going to start with a shrimp cocktail followed by a Cesar salad,” said Repar. “Then they’ll have marinated tri-tip, chicken marsala, mixed veggie and sliced potatoes. For dessert they’re going to have honey-cinnamon bread pudding served with a crème anglaise and caramel sauce.”

The veterans are hoping for a turnout of around 300 people.

After the dinner a 42” flat screen TV will be raffled off, along with baskets filled with goodies, one from each organization. After the raffle, there will be dancing, with live music provided by the band, “Have Mercy.”

If people can’t attend, said Repar, they can still buy a ticket and specify they want the veterans’ organization to make sure that the ticket finds its way to someone on active duty.

“It would be a nice way to get a couple out for an evening,” Repar said. “We would also like any businesses that are willing to donate (to help) fill the place with at least half of the people being delighted to be there because they’re still serving our country.”

Six veterans’ organizations are participating in putting on the dinner: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Marine Corps League, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Rolling Hills Blue Star Moms.

When a veteran is in need, one of the organizations will make contact to see what should be done, said Ron Hawn, Commander of the American Legion. As well as having long-reaching programs, the organizations address real-life immediate needs, whether it’s baby diapers or money to pay the rent. Recently the American Legion put handrails and two ramps on a veteran’s house to allow easier wheelchair access.

“We’ve bought a tank of gas for a guy that’s trying to get home,” Hawn said. Many of the groups give multiple college scholarships each year.

The Folsom veterans’ hall also provides a service officer, who is ex-Marine Mike Slater.

“He worked for the VA, and (helps with) veterans who have potential disability problems from being in the war,” Hawn said. “This guy does a lot of good work helping veterans get the funding, whether it’s loss of hearing from guns going off, chemicals . . . and other things.”

Pam Woodward, Treasurer and Past President of the Rolling Hills Blue Star Moms has two sons on active duty: Sean Woodward, who is a Green Beret (Special Forces), and Jason Woodward, who is an Arabic linguist. Blue Star Moms, like the other organizations, do many things for the military.

“We raise funds to send care packages to our active military serving overseas,” Woodward said. “We support their families that are left behind with needed assistance when times are tough . . . We donate supplies, food, books, games, time and assistance wherever we can for all military-oriented persons. We attend funerals for our fallen and support their families, we greet military returning home.”

Woodward says that our communities need to have more understanding of the military, what they do and what their families go through when husband and daddy and son aren’t around.

“We need to open our businesses up to our military when they come home, as many don’t have jobs when they return,” Woodward said.

The dinner will be served outdoors on the lawn at the Veterans’ Hall at 1300 Veterans Way. For tickets or information call the Veterans’ Hall at (916) 985-7911 or Woodward at (916) 952-8710.