VFW members present $7,000 for veterans causes

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BENNINGTON — Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1332 gathered last week to donate more than $7,000 raised through two recent events for veteran-related causes.

The Post 1332 Riders Group presented a check for $1,000 to the Vermont Veterans' Home, money to be used toward the purchase of a new tracked wheelchair. The money was raised through donations made for the group's first ride this spring, a 110-mile ride that featured some 50 motorcycles and their riders.

"We wanted to do something for the Veterans' Home, because most of us are veterans," said Joe Bisson, vice president of the Riders Group.

Al Faxon, chief operating officer and deputy administrator of the Vermont Veterans' Home, said the wheelchair the home wants to buy has flexible tracks that allows it to cross rugged terrain. Though "a lot of our guys and gals are in wheelchairs," he said, many want to get out into the home's 85 acres. "These guys are Vermonters — they're outdoorsmen," he said.

Faxon estimated the cost of the wheelchair at $8,000.

The VFW also presented a check for $6,013.75 for the annual Wreaths Across America event at the Veterans' Home. The donation, raised through a dinner, auction and gaming night at the VFW, is sufficient to provide wreaths for all 489 veterans' graves in the home's cemetery, local Wreaths Across America chair Amy Maroney said."This would not have been possible if it wasn't for the outpouring of support from Norm LeBlanc and the VFW, Jim Logan from Lost Target Shooting Supplies, Henry's Market and all the volunteers and community support," she said.

This year's Wreaths Across America event at the Vermont Veterans' Home is scheduled for Dec. 14.

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