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Annual Veterans Day dinner canceled

The annual 4 Paws 4 Veterans Veterans Day Dinner will have to wait a year.

Due to COVID-19 and restrictions related to the pandemic, organizers have canceled the event for this year.

Tammy Rogers of New Hope Assistance Dogs and Warren County Veterans Affairs Director Delores Stec said they do not want to put anyone at increased risk of contracting COVID.

There were several challenges related to keeping people safe — “putting that number of people together, complying with the percentage, and maintaining social distancing,” Rogers said.

The Eagles Club, which has hosted the event each of the first five years, would have had to close for a night when revenues are already very low.

The event also relies on donations and the organizers didn’t want to take away from any other entities that need funds

“Now is not the right time,” Stec said. “That’s one of the events that we look forward to, but it’s just not going to happen this year.”

The dinner usually draws between 500 and 600 veterans and their immediate family members.

“We talked about trying to do a delivery,” Rogers said. But there were too many concerns related to that.

“It’s a sad time that we have to cancel,” Stec said. “But we’re staying on the safe side for everyone.”

“The age of the clientele we’re dealing with is a big risk,” Rogers said.

“Especially for the older generation, you don’t want to potentially expose yourself” to COVID, Stec said.

They fully plan to bring the Veterans Day dinner back in 2021.

“Hopefully, we’ll be back bigger and better this year,” Rogers said.

For veterans who look forward to the dinner as a social event, Stec recommends “getting together in small groups… or calling your friends.”

She said she expects there to be some observances held on Veterans Day and will release details when they are available.

“I’m still here to help and aid anybody that I can,” Stec said. Appointments may be made by calling 728-3478.

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