HAZARD — The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard was presented with a $2,500 check from the County Clerk’s Association on Monday to help the center fund an Independence Day celebration for citizens who truly represent our nation’s liberty and patriotic pride; our veterans.
Perry County Clerk Haven King was at the Veterans Center to deliver the check, along with Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade. The money comes from a fund the county clerks created specifically for veterans centers in our region. Throughout the year, each participating clerk’s office accepts donations. For a donation of at least $20, contributors are given the opportunity to receive a birdhouse that Clerk Meade handcrafts himself out of an old license plate. The birdhouses have become wildly popular; popular enough to help the clerks raise nearly $75 thousand since November. License plate birdhouses created by Meade are now on display in all 50 states and they have also been sent as gifts to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last year, the fund helped purchase two new electric wheelchairs for the Veterans Center in Hazard, and also helped pay for Christmas activities. According to the facility’s administrator, Neil Napier, The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center will use Monday’s check to pay for a cookout and fireworks display to be held at the center on Friday. Napier says folks from the community are invited to come see the fireworks and spend an evening talking with the veterans.
Currently, 80 Kentucky clerks participate in the program. James Lewis of Leslie County and Dean Johnson of Laurel County are part of the team helping the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center, along with Haven King and Winston Meade.
The fireworks show on Friday is not the only event planned for the Veterans Center in the near future. According to Matt Coots, Shriners have partnered with the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center for a car show on July 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Veterans Center. Everyone is invited to attend.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.