Honoring those who served and fought for our freedom
On May 25, Virginia Veterans (vavets.org) honored veterans with a Memorial Day golf tournament at Topgolf, Ashburn. The fundraising event included golf, raffle prizes, live music by Andrew Burleson, food, and an open-bar. All proceeds from the event were donated to the Virginia Veterans organization.
More than 90 people attended the event, including 40 veterans and nine World War II veterans, most of whom live at the Ashby Ponds Retirement Home. All were given baseball hats from different branches of the military, including the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
“A special thank you to the 90+ participants at our Vavets Memorial Day Topgolf tournament,” said Erik Aastad, operations director of Virginia Veterans. “Our most senior veteran present was born in 1922 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 after her husband was drafted. She is 95 and doing well.”
Virginia Veterans was founded in 2015 as an initiative to support, unite and help local veterans meet their own and their families’ needs in different areas, including personal, family, health, education, and employment opportunities.
The nonprofit is run entirely by volunteers, with 90 percent of the donations delivered to local heroes. On the Board of Directors Mark Failor, founder; Erik Aastad, operations director; Mike McKay, director of marketing; and Greg Early, Director of Corporate Relations.
Fun Events and Programs to Help Veterans
Virginia Veterans organizes six events a year, including happy hours and raffles, thanks to the support of caring sponsors such as Raytheon/Forcepoint and Insperity. The organization is looking for a keynote speaker for their fundraising gala later this year; for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 905-4942.
Virginia Veterans assists veterans with employment opportunities by matching job requirements with resumes. They also are building a program to help veterans earn their PMP (Program Manager Professional) and CISSP (Certified Information System Security Professional) certifications, which can help veterans find employment after they return from service.
“When a veteran comes out of the service, he or she often has the experience but not the certifications needed to qualify for the job,” explained Aastad. “VaVets wants to start a program so the vets can obtain the necessary certifications.”
Virginia Veterans also strives to act as a clearing house to validate trustworthiness, so that donors who want to contribute to veterans can find an organization that uses the funds in the most effective way.