Aspen Elks donate $12,800 to veteran services |

Aspen Elks donate $12,800 to veteran services

The Aspen Elks Lodge #224 announced last week that it is donating a total of $12,800 to two organizations serving veterans on the Western Slope: the VA Western Colorado Health Care System and the VFW Post 3981 in Grand Junction.

The funds will be used to provide meals, food boxes, hygiene boxes and clothing for needy veterans and Appreciation Bags for the residents of the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Rifle.

Veterans living across the Western Slope, including in the communities of Montrose, Delta, Cedar Edge, Grand Junction, New Castle, Debeque, Mesa, Fruita, Loma and Rifle are served by the organizations receiving the funding from the Aspen Elks.

VFW Auxiliary 3981, Grand Junction Treasurer Judy Ladue and Beth Long , activities director of the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Rifle, get ready to distribute appreciation bags purchased with funds provided by Aspen Elks Lodge #224 to the veterans in the home. (Courtesy photo)

Len Ladue, commander of the VFW Post 3981, spoke about the need for the help the Aspen Elks are providing.

“The pandemic related restrictions on social activities have been especially challenging for our Veteran population on the Western Slope,” Ladue said. “The need for supplemental food and personal hygiene products is constant and delivering these items to our veterans allows for an opportunity to check on their welfare and identify additional needs.

“Whether we deliver a hot meal, a box of food, a bag full of snacks and crossword puzzles or a few rolls of toilet paper, the veterans are always so appreciative of just being acknowledged for their service to our country. For many our veterans, the feeling that they have been forgotten is real and something they live with every day.”

The Aspen Elks Lodge #224 has a long history of serving veterans. Each winter, it sponsors the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sport Clinic held in Aspen Snowmass. Dozens of volunteers from the Lodge assist with snow-related activities that the disabled vets enjoy. This year’s Winter Sports Clinic is canceled due to COVID-19.

Last December, the Elks Lodge donated over $2,000 to the VA Western Colorado Health Care System which it used for holiday food boxes that were distributed by the VFW Post 3981. Programs that will assist student veterans pursuing their degrees at Colorado Mesa University and Colorado Mountain College are also being considered for funding.

For more information, contact:

• Fred Venrick, 970-925-5145 or Ken Williams, 970-376-6362, co-chairs of the Veterans Services Committee, Aspen Elks Lodge #224

• Tami Bunch, voluntary services officer, VA Western Colorado Health Care Systems, 970-244-1336

• Len Ladue, commander, VFW Post 3981, 970-778-8242


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