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By Lou Marzeles
Editor 

Vets dinner marks fifth year

 

November 1, 2017



Veterans have two days in a row that honor them in Goldendale this year. One, of course, is Veterans Day itself. The day after, at noon on Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Goldendale Golf Course, is the fifth annual Veterans Dinner. Veterans of all eras and ages, and their families, are invited to dine for free.

“It started with Gina McCabe wanting to do something for the vets,” says event organizer Sharon Aleckson. “Gina asked me if I would be up to helping organize an event to thank veterans. I accepted her offer and brought that information to the Klickitat County Republican Party, and they decided they would fund the event.” Today the county Republican Party foots part of the bill along with many private donations. “So Gina and I have been working on this for five years.”

The event will feature speeches from veterans from different military branches, and a brief address from fellow organizer McCabe. “I’m speaking briefly, but I really want this to feature them,” McCabe says. “I’ll talk about Yes Vet and some legislation that I’m working on for veterans. But this is really about each of the speakers.”

Medals of appreciation will be given to every veteran in attendance to honor their service.

Initially the word got out slowly, but each year more and more people turned up. “At last year’s event the hall was filled,” Aleckson recalls.

Her husband—formerly an Army cook—does the cooking. “He’s a Korean War and Vietnam veteran,” Alcekson says. “He’s used to providing big quantities.”

Others in the community have turned out in strength to offer help. “I have a group of people here who support me in the set-up for the dinner at the golf course,” Aleckson points out. “People such as the Grange ladies and the supermarkets help provide items for the dinner. There is great community support.”

McCabe echoes that sentiment: “I’m very appreciative of all the people who come together and collaborate to make this happen. It couldn’t happen without them.”

Reservations are requested to be made by Nov. 10 to gauge the number of dinners needed. They can be made by calling Aleckson at (509) 365-4429. But she adds: “Even if you forget to RSVP, come anyway.”

“This is something close to my heart,” McCabe, a long-standing supporter of veterans’ issues, says. “I was born on an Air Force base.”

 

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