VFW turkey shoot to benefit local veterans’ programs
Published 7:00 am Friday, May 1, 2015
This Saturday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America James L. Burge Post 3804 in Picayune will host the first of two turkey shoot fundraising events.
According to www.vfw.org, the roots of the organization can be traced back to 1899 when sick or wounded veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection returned home and founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service.
Since its inception, the VFW has been effective in instituting the Veterans Administration, the GI Bill for the 20th century, development of the national cemetery system, the fight for compensation for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and those diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. The VFW also has fought for the improvement of VA medical centers services for women veterans, the website states.
Members of the VFW are those who actually had “boots on the ground in a foreign country during combat,” VFW Post 3804 volunteer Gaylene Davis said. The Picayune post has more than 20 active members, with more names on the roll.
“Our local post supports veterans affairs, disabled veterans, those with PTSD, the VA Hospital, legislative measures and anything going on at home that affects a veteran,” Davis said. “We are also active in local community service efforts including Christmas food baskets, a community Easter egg hunt and helping the needy in the community.”
This Saturday, the group is hosting its annual benefit to raise funds to support their community projects, Davis said. The turkey shoot begins at noon and will last until about or 6 p.m. The cost for a round, which includes about 15 different items, is $60 and $3 to $5 for the purchase of individual shots, she said.
There will also be a 50/50 drawing, Davis said. Tickets will cost $2 apiece or $5 for three tickets. An arm span will cost $20. Half of the proceeds will be put towards the benefit and the other half will be awarded to the winner.
Catfish plates will also be available for purchase; however, a price has yet to be determined, Davis said.
On May 9 from noon to about 8 or 9 p.m. the VFW will be hosting another turkey shoot to raise funds to offset funeral costs for VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Trish Kennedy, who passed away suddenly, Davis said.
“She is the reason our city has the veterans memorial in front of City Hall,” Davis said. “We are raising funds to help the family with whatever they need.”
According to previous Item coverage, Kennedy’s military family background and passion for America’s fallen soldiers ignited her desire to have a Fallen Soldier monument erected in downtown Picayune. The monument is in the shape of a battle cross, which was used to mark the location of fallen soldiers after a battle.
According to battlecrossgeneration.com, after a battle, soldiers would mark the bodies with the soldier’s rifle bayonet stuck into the ground with the helmet on top.
The May 9 benefit will also feature a turkey shoot along with an auction, food and live music, Davis said.
“The VFW is open to the public,” Davis said. “They are more than welcome to come in and find out what’s going on with the veterans.”
VFW Post 3804 is located at 421 Ridge Rd. For more information contact members at 601-798-9932.