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Donation made to Veterans Council emergency fund

Photo submitted to Times Observer Following a Sept. 18 fund-raising goulash dinner at Cabin in the Pines, representatives of Rusted Nutz Garage, Cabin in the Pines, Affordable Hauling, and Pamela’s Pampered Pets make a donation of $4,100 to the Warren County Veterans Council’s Emergency Fund. Pictured, from left, are: Scott Hollabaugh, Pam Hollabaugh, Tammy Smith, Angel McShane, Veterans Council President Delores Stec, Becca Sleeman, Barb Bailey, Peggy Piche, Gene Bailey, and Emergency Fund Treasurer Debbie Brown.

For the past three years, the Warren County Veterans Council Emergency Fund has seen elevated use.

Veterans are in need.

“Since 2020, the number of requests we have gotten has just gone through the roof,” Emergency Fund Treasurer Debbie Brown said. “And they keep coming.”

“We have done close to $15,000 in emergency donations this year,” Veterans Council President and Warren County Veterans Affairs Director Delores Stec said.

To maintain that level of support, the council needs money.

On Wednesday, a community group, driven by some veteran-owned businesses, made a donation of $4,100 to the emergency fund.

Gene and Barbara Bailey of Affordable Hauling and Scott and Pam Hollabaugh of Rusted Nutz Garage continue to work together to run fundraisers.

On Sept. 18, with Cabin in the Pines and Pamela’s Pampered Pets, the veterans held a goulash dinner.

“We had a very nice turnout, and it was delicious,” Brown said. “The emergency fund is run on donations from individuals and events such as this. The monies are much needed.”

“We appreciate what they do and the time and effort that they put into helping us,” Stec said. “The money is greatly needed. It is used for the veterans of Warren County and all proceeds go to the veterans.”

“With the way the economy is now, if there is a veteran in need, they should contact our office,” she said. Veterans Affairs can be reached at (814) 728-3478.

The Baileys’ resolve for the need to help veterans was strengthened recently.

“I was in Sheffield some time ago,” Gene Bailey said. “There was a boy crying on the corner.”

Bailey spoke with him.

“He was a homeless veteran from North Carolina,” he said. “He didn’t have any money. He didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Eventually, with help, that veteran made his way back to North Carolina and family.

Barbara Bailey spent Warren County Fair week with Veterans Affairs. “The week I spent at the Fair opened my eyes to how many Warren County veterans are in need,” she said.

Whether it is homeless veteran or one with emergency needs, there are resources available.

The emergency fund is available for “veterans in need,” Brown said.

The next event will benefit veterans in a different way, Bailey said. Proceeds from a chili cook-off to be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at Double D’s in Garland, with gun raffles and baskets, will go to the Allegheny Valley Veterans Center — a center for homeless veterans — 100 N. Main St., Clarendon.

Those who are proud of their chili are welcome.

“I’m going to take anybody that wants to enter,” Bailey said. “No sign-up is needed.”

Prizes will be awarded for the best chili based on a people’s choice vote and on judging.

Information is available by calling Rusted Nutz Garage at (814) 563-2823 or Barbara Bailey at (814) 462-6360.

After the December event, organizers hope to find other venues interested in hosting. “We want to start moving some back to Warren,” Bailey said. “If anyone is interested in hosting, give Barbara a call.”

VETERANS COUNCIL

Veterans who are interested in helping are encouraged to consider joining the council.

“If anybody is interested in being part of the Veterans Council, our meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Eagles Club,” Stec said. “We are always looking for members.”

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