BERLIN - Veterans in town are going to receive help from the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department and Independent Political Italian Club.
The two organization donated $11,000 and $200, respectively, to the Veterans Commission Tuesday night. The amount the fire department gave is almost double the $6,300 it gave last year.
“The veterans in town need help,” said Al Pipkin, a retired firefighter who still helps organize events. If he can do something to help them out, he said, he was happy to do it while having fun during the fundraising events.
The fire department donated after taking in about $3,800 from its “Freedom Fry” booth sales at the Berlin Fair, about $4,000 from a comedy show Pipkin put on, about $2,000 from the car show, and the rest from a bus trip to a casino and a fill-the-boot fundraiser at the tree-lighting ceremony.
“It was a good year,” Pipkin said. “Take care of the old-timers.”
John Mangiafico, of the IPIC, said its donation, which came in the form of gift cards, was to honor the veterans.
“We have a lot of veterans in our club that deserve recognition. We have members that have sons who have been in the service,” said Mangiafico. “We want to honor them and the service they provided to our country.”
Joe Casso, of the Veterans Commission, was thankful for the donations, since they will go to helping veterans with mortgages, rent, food, heating bills and more.
“There’s a definite need,” Casso said. “And you know as well as I, veterans are not the first ones to ask. This money is going to be put to good use … on their behalf. Thank you.”
The money will go toward helping about 20 veterans, Veterans Commission Chairman Charles Colaresi said.
Jim Simons, a former Berlin Volunteer Fire Department chief who was in attendance Tuesday night, said the department will begin fundraising for the veterans again starting Jan. 1.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or email@example.com.