Golf tournament supports local veterans in need

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More than 100 golfers headed to Willow Springs Country Club on Friday to raise money and support homeless and at-risk veterans.

The annual golf tournament, hosted by the Knights of Columbus and sponsored by Lee Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, benefited Veterans Residents Services of Wilson.

The tournament is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“This is what keeps us going,” said Claudia Baker, executive director of Veterans Residential Services. “If it weren’t for this fundraiser, we’d probably have to shut the doors. We have had a fantastic turnout this year.”

She said this year’s tournament was the best one yet with dozens of teams participating, as well as vast support from community partners and sponsors.

The agency serves more than 600 veterans each year. Baker said not only did the agency place 27 veterans in permanent housing last year alone, but it was able to furnish those places thanks to community support. The agency also serves about 80 veterans per week out of its food pantry.

The nonprofit, located on Nash Street, provides financial and emergency assistance as well as employment, training and referrals to local veterans.

“We help them in so many ways,” Baker said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Tournament proceeds will help meet various needs including transportation, emergency expenses for veterans and food. A small ceremony was held to honor all veterans before the tourney teed off.

While Veterans Residential Services of Wilson receives small grants, it relies heavily on community monetary donations. Baker said VRS continues to see an increasing need in services for veterans of all ages. The agency also provides clothing, household items, furniture and toiletries for veterans and their families.

For more information on how you can help, contact Claudia Baker at 252-237-4778 or email her at cjbaker@vrsw.org. Monetary donations can be mailed to 2500 Nash St., Suite E, Wilson NC 27896. The agency’s website is www.vrsw.org.



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