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Sheffield event raises money for Vets’ Center

Photo submitted to Times Observer Clarendon VFW Post Commander Dave Progar accepts a check for $210 for the Allegheny Valley Veterans Center from (left) Sheffield Area High School Student Council Vice President Kyra Wotorson and Student Council President Marissa Grubbs.

Students and staff at Sheffield Area Middle High School tipped their hats in honor of Veterans Day.

Students Council held two events to raise funds for the Allegheny Valley Veterans Center.

For a $1 donation, students and teachers could wear hats to school — Tip Your Hat to Veterans — and for a $5 donation, teachers could wear jeans for the day — Jeans for GIs.

Those events raised $105.

Student Council matched the amount, bringing the total donation to the veterans center to $210.

“The student council doing that, that was great,” Clarendon VFW Post #314 Commander Dave Progar said.

The center has received a number of donations as it moves along the process of becoming a shelter for homeless veterans.

Clarendon Borough has moved its operations into the building, Progar said, but it will be a while before the shelter is ready.

“That’s going to take a couple of years,” he said. “It’s a slow process. We’re jumping through hoops. We’re shaking hands. We’re working right now on insurance.”

“The borough owns that building,” Progar said. “We have a lease. We’re responsible for all the upkeep and maintenance.”

A board of directors including three community members, three representatives from the veterans clubs, and three from the borough government, has been established.

“We’re working on grants through the VA,” Progar said. “I’ve been in touch with the Northwest Pennsylvania Homeless Coordinator. He gave me some leads. We’re trying to get a meeting set up.”

He has also been working with local legislators. “They feel it’s a great idea,” Progar said. “They’re giving us leads and ideas.”

There are office spaces in the building available for rent.

“We’ve got one tenant,” he said. “They’re starting to move in.”

“We’re looking for more tenants,” Progar said. “If anyone in the community needs office space, we will coordinate with them.”

Renovations may well happen, but not until there is an idea of what the needs are.

Donations are welcome.

“Every little bit helps,” Progar said.

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