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Clarence Citizens for Veterans raises money for military children

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | February 18, 2013

The Clarence Citizens for Veterans held a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting fund-raiser last weekend to help raise money for military children in Western New York. Vice President of the organization Pam Koss expressed her thanks to the more than 200 people who came out in the snow and donated their time and money to helping out veterans and their families.

This fund-raiser was held last year for the first time and attracted more than 350 people, raising money for WNY Heroes. This year, a portion of the proceeds from the fund-raiser were donated to WNY Kids are Heroes Too, a separate but connected, organization to WNY Heroes.

The money that was raised will go towards military children whom have a deployed or disable parent. Specifically, the funds will pay for things that will help the child cope with the absence of their parent on a deployment or their parent being a disabled veteran.

For example there are camps held for a week for military children or the child could go to some type of sports camp.

Clarence Citizens for Veterans was originated with the idea of helping post 9/11 veterans but members soon decided they’d rather help any veteran and their family in any way they could. Koss said they didn’t want to limit their focus on one group to help.

“Our mission statement is to support and honor our military and their families,” said Koss. “We will really do it whatever way possible.”

The fund-raiser was held at the clubhouse in the Clarence Town Park on Main Street. Due to the weather and the winter storm passing through the area at the time, the turnout for the fund-raiser wasn’t as high as expected. Although the final numbers aren’t in yet, Koss is confident that the event raised a great amount. In fact, nearly as many basket raffle tickets were sold as last year with less people.

Clarence Citizens for Veterans has about 12 dedicated members who show up to every monthly meeting.

Koss added that there is also a large group of people who volunteer their time at the fund-raisers held throughout the year and keep up to date on the latest information for the organization.

The organization attends several Clarence events such as Clarence Day in the Park and the Labor Day Fair.

Although Koss has a strong connection to the military, two of her children are in the United States Army and one in the United States Navy, anyone can become a member. Koss added that she encourages anyone who would like to help our veterans to join and that there are no fees or requirements to become a member.

Koss said the organization plans to host this fund-raiser for years to come and to be involved in the community as much as it can.

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