Category Archives: News

PVR Bulletin – January 2020

SPOT LIGHT – Post 359 Fundraising Activities

During January, the Legion Family from Post 359 are dedicating their entire fundraising efforts to benefit PROJECT: VetRelief. They have many events planned over the course of the month including a variety of dinners, motorcycle rides and movie nights.

We are grateful for the support of all those involved in planning for these events and are truly honored they chose our program to receive the funds generated. The full listing of events are below. Please be sure to head to Titusville and support them in one or all of their fun activities.


DID YOU KNOW? – Few Quick Facts

► The PVR office was closed from December 24th and reopened on January 2nd. Be patient as we work through calls received during that time.

92% of every dollar donated to the program goes directly to our veterans and their families. Less than 2% is used towards organizational compliance and accounting/banking fees.

► We are collecting resources and contact names of Veteran Service Organizations to create a state-wide resource tool. If you have any contacts you’d like to share, please visit the following website to enter their information: https://www.projectvetrelief.org/vso-resource-entries/

► Our veterans are depending on us to process their financial assistance cases in a timely manner. If you are conducting an interview on our behalf, please schedule a meeting and return the follow up report as soon as possible.

► Commander William “Rick” Johnson chose PVR as one of his charities for his fundraising project. When submitting donations for his efforts, be sure to include “Commander’s Charity” in the memo line. Let’s help him get to his goal of $75,000!

► PVR has partnered with AmazonSmile. If you choose PROJECT: VetRelief, Inc. before checking out, Amazon will donate 10% of your order to our program!

PVR Bulletin – December 2019

From the Board of Directors: We need your support!

 
Thanks to you PROJECT: VetRelief was able to provide financial assistance to nearly 150 families this past year. On behalf of them, thank you for saving their lives and their dignity.
 
We recently helped a disabled female veteran who served in the United States Navy, a single mother of two children, by providing financial assistance for her rent. By providing her the support, we were able to keep her and her children from being evicted. Without your help, this veteran and her children would be out on the street. Today, they are safe, warm and self-sufficient.
 
Every day, your support makes stories like this disabled female veteran’s possible.
 
Today, we’re launching a campaign to increase the number of families we are able to provide support in 2020. Our goal for next year is to be able to help an additional 50 active duty military, veterans, and their families as they transition into civilian lives. You see, even though we helped nearly 100 families this year, there are still over 106,000 veterans who are in-need and living below federal poverty levels across the state.
 
In order to reach our goal, we will need to raise an approximate additional $50,000. If we raise that amount, we’ll be able to provide food, shelter and utilities for 50 additional service members and their families this year than last year. We need your help to make it happen.
 
Would you be willing to make a special tax-deductible year-end donation of $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us meet our goal and provide 50 more families assistance?
 
Donations can be made online (www.projectvetrelief.org/donate), mailed into the Department Headquarters, or given through the Commander’s Charity. We simply can not increase our level of support without you!

FALL CONFERENCE WRAP UP

Thank you to everyone who took advantage of the many PROJECT: VetRelief opportunities during the American Legion, Department of Florida Fall Conference last month. Take a look at all of the exciting things that happened:
 
• Held our very first Suicide Prevention Initiative Class with approximately 40 attendees
 
• Trained nearly 20 BRAND NEW VetRelief Advocates
 
• Hosted a Networking Event for trained Advocates with key topics of discussion
 
Presented during the Service Officer School, and the Legion and SAL General Sessions
 
• Distributed marketing materials at the PVR Booth

 

PVR Bulletin – November 2019

COMMANDER’S CHARITY:

Help Him Reach His Goal!

This year, the American Legion, Department of Florida’s Commander, William “Rick” Johnson, chose PROJECT: VetRelief as one of his charities of choice. Donations marked as “Commander’s Charity” will be divided equally between his two charities: PROJECT: VetRelief and Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). If you would like your donation to go towards a specific charity, please note that on the check. For example, write “Commander’s Charity – PROJECT: VetRelief” in the memo line. All checks should be made payable to the American Legion.
 
Commander Johnson has set a lofty goal to raise $75,000 between the two charities. Before Fall Conference, the total amount raised for both charities this year was $15,983; $11,530 for PVR and $4,453 for COTA.
 
Legion Posts are asked to make a one-time donation or hold a fundraising event(s) to help him reach his goal. If you are planning an event for PROJECT: VetRelief, we can help promote it. Contact Jennifer Cooper by sending an email to jcooper@floridalegion.org with all the details!
 
Commander Johnson is in the middle of his District visits. While he’s making his rounds, give your donation to him and he will turn them into the Department Headquarters for you.

SUICIDE PREVENTION

3RD ANNUAL
Central Florida Challenge 22 Ruck Walk
CROOKED CAN, WINTER GARDEN
11:00AM – 11:00PM
 
On Saturday, November 16th, The American Legion Post 63 in Winter Garden and Crooked Can Brewing Company are once again partnering to raise money and community
awareness of the 22 veteran and active duty suicides happening per day due to PTS. The Challenge 22 event is just one of the vehicles
used to create awareness and raise money for this important cause.
 
WE NEED YOU! Everyone can help make the Central Florida Challenge 22 Event and Ruck Walk a success and help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 to eliminate veteran suicide due to Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).
 
Individuals, families, businesses, community and civic groups are needed as walkers, sponsors, service providers, or donors/volunteers. Get involved and support this very important cause and save lives by registering to join the Ruck Walk, becoming a sponsor, donating, being a community partner, or volunteer.
 
The money raised will be distributed to organizations that provide help and hope to our fellow Americans, including PROJECT: VetRelief and K9-Line.
 

PVR Bulletin – October

 

2019 FALL CONFERENCE DETAILS

The American Legion, Department of Florida Fall Conference is just around the corner. The event will be held next month from November 1-3, 2019 at the Renaissance at Sea World in Orlando, FL.
 
There will only be one training opportunity again this year. Be sure to visit the link below to reserve your seat today!
 
VETRELIEF ADVOCATE TRAINING:
Saturday, November 2nd
Time: 2:15 – 4:00 PM*
Room: Palini
 
The PROJECT: VetRelief Team will also have a table in the vendor area. Please stop by to see Michael Beaven and introduce yourself to our new PVR Team Member, Cristina Hakim-Rosario. You can collect any materials to take back with you to your Post or ask any questions you might have.
 
Calling all trained Advocates – We will be holding a special event for all trained VetRelief Advocates. If you are interested in learning more information on this event, and have already taken our training course, please contact Jennifer Cooper, by emailing jcooper@floridalegion.org, for the details.
 
We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there!
 
*Times and room locations are subject to change.

THE RESULTS ARE IN…

The 6th Annual PROJECT: VetRelief Golf Tournament was held on Monday, September 23rd at the beautiful Bella Collina Golf Course in Monteverde, FL. At approximately 8:30AM, after attendees stood at attention for the Pledge of Allegiance, the shotgun went off sending approximately 124 golfers on their way.
 
PVR Board Vice-President, Bob James, hosted corporate partners, vendors and friends to a fun filled day of golf. He set a lofty goal to work towards for this year’s event. He was able to meet his goal, and provide a donation of a record setting$57,100 to PROJECT: VetRelief!
 
The following Legionnaires came to show their support by either playing golf or volunteering: Commander, Rick Johnson; Adjutant, Michael McDaniel; Americanism Chairman, Kurt Gies; VA Entitlement Chairman, Larry Roberts; and Michael Beaven.
 
Our appreciation goes out to all of the sponsors, players, and volunteers for their continued support of Florida’s veterans!
 

PVR Bulletin – September 2019

UPCOMING PVR GOLF TOURNAMENT – SOLD OUT!

On Monday, September 23rd at approximately 8:30AM, the shotgun for the 6th Annual Golf Tournament hosted by RL James, Inc. will take place.  The tournament is PROJECT: VetRelief ’s largest fundraising event and has brought in nearly $200,000 in just 5 years!

The anticipated 120 golfers will enjoy a premier experience at the Bella Collina Golf Course, located in Monteverde, FL. Golfers should expect a day filled with fun, and many chances to win some cool prizes.

During the awards banquet and luncheon, there will be a silent auction featuring an impressive list of more than 50 items. Not to mention there will be a tasty buffet!

There are a few volunteer positions available, if you’d like to come and help out. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 to coordinate the details! Hope to see you there!


WELCOME ABOARD – Cristina!

Cristina joined the PVR Team in August as a part-time Case Worker. She has worked within the Orange County community for over 11 years by assisting those who needed additional resources, and is currently enrolled in grad school at Southeastern University studying Human Services.
Although she did not serve in the armed forces, she has a passion for helping veterans and their families through their hard times.

When she is not busy with her schoolwork or large family, she enjoys motorcycles, volleyball and volunteering through organizations to raise awareness for homelessness and providing sustainability to families.

We feel lucky to have Cristina as a part of our team as she brings a lot of passion and experience. She will be in the office on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. Please help us welcome her to the team!


SUICIDE PREVENTION

Suicide among our veteran community has exceeded 22 a day. ink about it, that’s over 8,000 veterans we lose every year. We no longer can sit back and say, “that’s someone else’s problem”!

Over the past year, we have seen a great deal of interest from the Legion Family in supporting a new Suicide Prevention Initiative. In fact, we created a committee last November to address this tragic statistic on veteran suicide here in Florida. The Committee includes: John Dollinger, Bob James, Jim Wineland, Barry Roberts, Larry Roberts and Kurt Gies.

The committee’s plan of raising awareness, educating our communities and identifying Florida’s community partners was approved by the Board in June. They have already identified over 20 organizations that assist veterans with mental health needs. The committee is going through each organization using a vetting process to identify those who have a proven track record and are validated within their communities.

It will take the entire Florida Legion Family working together to even make a dent in this devastating epidemic our veteran community faces. But, we must start somewhere!

PVR Bulletin – August 2019

Congratulations Commander!

Congratulations to William “Rick” Johnson on becoming the 2019-2020 Department Commander for e American Legion, Department of Florida! We are so thrilled to learn that he has chosen PROJECT: VetRelief as one of his charities for his Commander’s Project. Here’s how the Commander has chosen for the donations to be processed:

Any donation marked as “Commander’s Charity” will be divided equally between his two charities: PROJECT: VetRelief and Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). If you would like your donation to go towards a specific charity, please note that on the check. For example, write “Commander’s Charity – PROJECT: VetRelief ” in the memo line. All checks should be made payable to the American Legion.

Commander Johnson has set a goal to raise $75,000 during his one-year term. Legion Posts are asked to make a one-time donation or hold fundraising event(s) to help him reach his goal. If
you are planning an event for PROJECT: VetRelief, we can help promote it. Contact Jennifer Cooper by sending an email to jcooper@floridalegion.org with all of the details!


MAKING A DIFFERENCE: One Veteran at a Time

Michael Beaven, alongside the entrusted DeLand Police Department Detective, visited the 82 year old veteran who was scammed of over $50,000. Donations from all over the country were collected on his behalf through PROJECT: VetRelief and a check for $18,300 was given to him.

We are still collecting donations. In fact, the Legion Family from Post 402 all pitched in and raised $2,000! If you’d like to help, please donate through the link below or mail in by check. All donations are going directly to him!

DONATION LINK: https://www.projectvetrelief.org/delandveteran/


2019 Convention Recap

We hope you were able to stop by and see us at some point during the Florida Legion Annual Convention this past June. We were excited to see all our VetRelief Advocates and share the accomplishments that they helped us achieve!

Check out a few of our highlights from the event:

  • Collected $39,823 in Legion Family donations
  • 48 VetRelief Advocates attended a PVR Training
  • Over 15 Advocates came to our Exclusive Networking Event for a round table discussion
  • The Board of Directors approved for the Suicide Prevention Committee to move forward with their plan of action. Details will be revealed in the coming months on their efforts.

If you didn’t make it to the Convention and catch one of our trainings, don’t worry! A class will be offered at the Fall Conference in November. ere will only be one opportunity, so be sure to sign up when the details are announced.

*For promotional items, such as brochures or fliers, contact Jennifer Cooper by sending an email to jcooper@floridalegion.org or call 407-295-2631

PVR Bulletin – June 2019

PVR IN ACTION – Your Help is Needed!

An 82-year-old Coast Guard veteran from DeLand, FL has been scammed of over $50,000; his entire life savings. Once the news broke national headlines, The American Legion, Department of Florida and Project VetRelief knew we had to take action!

Since the veteran chose to remain anonymous, the team reached out to the DeLand Police Department to see how we could get in touch with him to pay his monthly rent. Additionally, we arranged for a VetRelief Advocate to go to the veteran’s home with an entrusted detective to provide support during this difficult time.

Chris Graham with the DeLand Police Department also expressed that they had a lot of people within the community, near and far, who wanted to donate to help rebuild this veteran’s life savings, but did not have the means to do so. Project VetRelief stepped forward and set up a restricted account. As the news continued to spread around the country, people started sending in their contributions.

As of May 28th, $6,150 has been collected through our efforts. Other organizations have made pledges to pitch in, but so far, we have not received anything.

We are asking the Florida Legion Family to join in trying to get him his money back. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to this veteran.

You can donate now by using the restricted link below:

https://www.projectvetrelief.org/delandveteran 

If you would rather mail in your donation, you can send to the below address. Checks need to be made payable to PROJECT: VetRelief and “DeLand Veteran” should be listed in the memo line.

PROJECT: VetRelief
Attn: Jennifer Cooper
1912A Lee Road
Orlando, FL 32810
Original News Source: https://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20190521/elderly-deland-veteran-police-say-was-bilked-by-couple-gets-help-from-veterans


2019 CONVENTION – Sign up NOW!

LAST CHANCE – Reserve your seat during our next training at the Department Convention on June 26th – 29th in Orlando! Space is limited and will be based off a first come first serve basis.

VETRELIEF ADVOCATE TRAINING:

Friday, June 28th

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Room: Canary 3-4 (View Convention Map)

 Registration Link:

https://www.projectvetrelief.org/classregistration/

 The PVR Team will also be at the vendor booth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Be sure to stop by to grab any materials or just to say hi! 

We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there!

*Class day, time and location are subject to change.


STILL SERVING – 5th Year Almost Over

Now in our 5th year of serving veterans and their families, look at how much PVR has grown:

We want to keep providing our services to veterans, active duty military and their families for years to come. In order to do that, we need everyone’s continued support. Please remember we are veterans serving veterans, every day.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS: – Upcoming Events

All of PROJECT: VetRelief’s financial support comes from the generosity of individuals and corporations who believe in what we do. Join us for one of our next events, or hold your own fundraiser.

If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 or jcooper@floridalegion.org. 

ALR 372 Ride for the 22 – June 9, 2019
Jacksonville, FL
 
6th Annual Golf Tournament – Sept 23, 2019
Bella Collina, FL
 
Coral Head Blues Fest– Oct 19, 2019
Marathon, FL
 
Coral Head Music Fest– Nov 2-3, 2019
Pinellas Park, FL
 
Post 35 Golf Tournament– Nov 16, 2019
Mt. Dora, FL
Details coming soon!

 

PVR Bulletin – May 2019

 

ADVOCATE TRAINING – Next Opportunity

The American Legion, Department of Florida’s Annual Convention is just around the corner. The event will be held from June 27-30th, 2019 at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL.
 
There will only be one training opportunity this year. Be sure to visit the link below to reserve your seat today!
 
VETRELIEF ADVOCATE TRAINING:
Friday, June 28th
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Room: Canary 3-4
 
Registration Link:
 
The PROJECT: VetRelief Team will also have a table in the vendor area. Please stop by to see our case workers, Michael Beaven and Jeremy Gottschalk. You can collect any materials to take back with you to your Post or ask any questions you might have.
 
Calling all trained Advocates – We will be holding a special event for all trained VetRelief Advocates. If you are interested in learning more information on this event, and have already taken our Training course, please contact Jennifer Cooper, jcooper@floridalegion.org, for the details.
 
We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there!
 
*Class day, time and location are subject to change.


WE SALUTE – Florida Legion Riders

The Florida American Legion Riders and PROJECT: VetRelief teamed up for the month of April to bring awareness to prevention, action and treatment in an effort to stop Veteran suicide. This is the first event that focused around the new initiative our program put forth last June.
 
The Riders kicked off a week-long Unity Ride event at Post 138 in Tampa on April 7th. From there, they made their way round the entire state of Florida stopping at various Posts to raise awareness and collect donations.
 
The ride concluded back in Tampa at Post 111 where they celebrated with the Statewide Rally. Food, raffles, silent auction and live entertainment was provided, along with wonderful memories.
 
Their work isn’t finished yet! Riders have the entire month of April to host local rides within their communities and raise more awareness and collect donations. The final results will be announced during the Department Convention in June.
 
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Upcoming Events

All of PROJECT: VetRelief’s financial support comes from the generosity of individuals and corporations who believe in what we do. Join us for one of our next events, or hold your own fundraiser.
 
If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 or jcooper@floridalegion.org.
 
 
Chapter 10 Armed Forces Day Event – May 18, 2019
Kissimmee, FL
 
6th Annual Golf Tournament – Sept 23, 2019
Bella Collina, FL
 
Coral Head Blues Fest- Oct 19, 2019
Marathon, FL
 
Coral Head Music Fest- Nov 2-3, 2019
Pinellas Park, FL
 
Post 35 Golf Tournament- Nov 16, 2019
Mt. Dora, FL
Details coming soon!

PVR Bulletin – April 2019

 

WE SALUTE – Florida Veterans Foundation

PROJECT: VetRelief gratefully received a grant from the Florida Veterans Foundation (FVF) for the support of the Emergency Assistance program. This makes the second grant our program has received from the Tallahassee based organization.
 
As a part of this opportunity, we provide a quarterly report to FVF that is used to influence decisions made within our state capitol. Our figures show the support that service members depend on during their difficult times; which could potentially open the door for future funding down the road.
 
We are so grateful for our partnership and having the ability to impact the lives of our veterans is something we are extremely proud of. The Florida Veterans Foundation, and this funding, gives us the opportunity to reach more families who need our support.
 
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


EVENT SPOTLIGHT – Rides and Rallies

WEST VOLUSIA CHAMBER CHARITY RIDE
When: Sunday, April 7th, 2019
Starting Location: Foxhead Lounge (Osteen, FL)
Cost: $20 / person | $10 for second Rider
All vehicles are welcome: bikes, cars, trucks, buses, etc.
 
Join us for Live Music provided by R & G Duo, auction, door prizes, raffles and 50/50. Participants also receive a free sloppy joe meal. Additional playing cards are $1.00 each for poker players.
 
Ride stops:
The No Name Saloon (Edgewater)
Critter’s Pub (Deltona)
Dales Ales (Orange City)
Blackie Saloon (DeBary)
 
 
LEGION RIDERS UNITY RIDE / STATE RALLY
The Florida American Legion Riders are proud to advocate for Veterans and Veterans’ issues. This year’s State Rally will support the PROJECT: VetRelief Suicide Prevention Initiative.
 
The Florida American Legion Riders and PROJECT: VetRelief are teaming up to bring awareness to prevention, action and treatment in an effort to stop Veteran suicide. We need your support, please join us!
 
When: Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Time: 1:00PM – 8:00PM
Food, Raffles, Silent Auction, Live Entertainment and much more!
 
Pre-register at http://bit.ly/ALRrally

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Upcoming Events

All of PROJECT: VetRelief’s financial support comes from the generosity of individuals and corporationswho believe in what we do. Join us for one of our next events, or hold your own fundraiser.
 
If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 or jcooper@floridalegion.org.
 
West Volusia Chamber Ride– Apr 7, 2019
Volusia County, FL
 
Legion Riders In-State Unity Ride / Concert – Apr 7-13, 2019
Tampa, FL
 
Chapter 10 Armed Forces Day Event – May 18, 2019
Kissimmee, FL
 
6th Annual Golf Tournament – Sept 23, 2019
Bella Collina, FL
 
Coral Head Music Fest– Nov 2-3, 2019
Pinellas Park, FL
 

PVR Bulletin – March 2019

Suicide Prevention Program – Update

As many of you are aware, the PROJECT: VetRelief Board of Directors decided to expand our services and create a Suicide Prevention Initiative. Although suicide was already a part of our mission, the members of the Board felt it was time take more of an action towards ending the epidemic.
 
During the 2018 November meeting, the Board formed a Committee to put together a well-sound program and are scheduled to report back during the next meeting; which will be held in June 2019. At the present time, this initiative is not complete, and their goal is to take time in developing an effective and complete program with measurable results.
 
The committee had their first meeting on January 8th at the Florida Legion Department Headquarters. They decided that PROJECT: VetRelief should focus on three main areas of service: Raise Awareness, Provide Quality Referrals, and Fund Existing Programs. In the upcoming months, the committee will be meeting with mental health professionals and establishing a network of credible programs and services that are already supporting mental health for our service members and their families.
 
Even though the program isn’t complete, the Legion Riders have chosen this initiative as their beneficiary for their In-State Unity Ride and Concert in April. The Legion Rider’s Chairman, Jim Wineland, sits on the planning committee and is passionate about getting the right kind of help to our veterans and their families who are dealing with mental health issues.
 
Although we realize it will take a lot of work to put a stop to the 22 suicides that happen every single day, PROJECT: VetRelief is adamant about establishing a program that will help end this horrific statistic.

Event Spotlight – Coral Head Music Fest

The Third Annual Coral Head Music Fest was held on February 16-17th at the Marathon City Park Amphitheater in Marathon, FL. The Department of Florida Assistant Adjutant, Bruce Comer, made the trip down with the PROEJCT: VetRelief trailer to support the two-day event.
 
We held our first social media contest and encouraged event attendees to stop by our booth and take a selfie with our trailer. Singer Jen was the winner of the contest and received a PVR Care Package.
 
The two-day line up consisted of Vince Neil , Jackyl , Mitch Perry , The Sweet , John Cafferty , Art Mulcahy , Lazy Bonez , Fiddle Rock , Caffeine Carl , John Bartus, and Singer Jen.
 
A special thank you goes out to Rich Anderson and Legion Riders Chapter 154 for putting on another spectacular event. We are so appreciative of all their hard work and dedication in supporting Florida’s veterans!
 
The Coral Head Music Fest is heading to Pinellas Park in November, so be sure to mark your calendars now. You won’t want to miss it!

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Upcoming Events

All of PROJECT: VetRelief’s financial support comes from the generosity of individuals and corporations who believe in what we do. Join us for one of our next events, or hold your own fundraiser.
 
If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 or jcooper@floridalegion.org.
 
Legion Riders In-State Unity Ride / Concert – Apr 7-13, 2019
Tampa, FL
 
West Volusia Chamber Ride– Apr 7, 2019
Volusia County, FL
 
Chapter 10 Armed Forces Day Event – May 18, 2019
Kissimmee, FL
 
6th Annual Golf Tournament – Sept 23, 2019
Bella Collina, FL
 
Coral Head Music Fest – Nov 2-3, 2019
Pinellas Park, FL