George Washington said, “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages”. That sentiment is still alive today and for one organization, it has become a battle cry of sorts due to a lack of financial support caused by the effects of COVID-19.
The Wounded Veterans of Oklahoma has found itself struggling to put its largest event/fundraiser on this year. With many businesses struggling to keep their doors open after the pandemic, which has wreaked financial havoc across the state and country, the funding which is usually easily forthcoming from patriots has slowed to the point where canceling the event was almost a reality.
But with many supporters refusing to accept defeat, the nonprofit organization is pushing ahead with its annual fishing derby on Lake Keystone near Mannford. Though it’s dubbed a fishing tournament for veterans, it is so much more. The all-day event is going on its fifth year of supporting the state’s veterans. Activities, crafts vendors, live music, BBQ, and raffles are all part of the event helping to bring in money used to support veterans programs and hunting and fishing activities for the veterans throughout the year.
The activities are designed to connect veterans and allow them to feel the camaraderie they felt as soldiers while being therapeutic for those who suffer from mental issues related to combat, according to the head of the organization JD Dennis.
Many supporters have gone to social media asking for help. As a result, area bands have stepped up to provide entertainment at no cost and some companies have made donations of supplies. However, there is still a burden upon the organizers who are working to bring in the funding that helps veterans throughout the year with a variety of programs. The usual attractions such as the WWII plane flyover and the fireworks show are still scheduled, according to Dennis. But to help with the costs for its activities later in the year, donations will be accepted at the event.
This organization provides support and outreach to veterans and their families in many ways and is without a doubt, a worthy cause. To learn about all it does and the many ways which it makes a difference in veterans’ lives, visit woundedveteransofoklahoma.org
Supporters may make donations on their website. The event is scheduled for June 13 at Keystone Harbor in Mannford.