Operation Stand Down Central Texas preparing for Vet Fest in Copperas Cove
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Operation Stand Down Central Texas will be holding a festival dedicated to veterans on Saturday, August 5, at Copperas Cove City Park.
Vet Fest will serve as an opportunity to celebrate the veterans in the community while also raising awareness and funds for Operation Stand Down Central Texas and their mission.
OSDCT Executive Director and Founder Joann Courtland said that the idea for Vet Fest came about after one of OSDCT’s volunteers had gone to a similar event in Round Rock and told Courtland about it.
“I have always wanted to find an annual event that OSDCT could do to raise awareness and funding for our organization,” Courtland said. “With such a large collection of veterans in this area, I said, ‘Why not here, we don’t need to drive to have a great event.’”
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 5 and will feature tons of vendors and veterans service organizations offering information about the services available for veterans and their families.
There will even be the Vet Center Mobile Van to help veterans with their disability ratings, Courtland said. There will also be food trucks with a variety of foods and desserts.
Courtland said she is still looking for any vendors (both veteran and non-veteran connected) who want to sell their items.
The deadline to register as a vendor is fast approaching: July 22. After this deadline, there will be an additional charge of $25 for every 10’x10’ space.
Other activities include bounce houses for kids, a cornhole tournament on Field #2 hosted by the Exchange Club, plus several musical acts performing throughout the day.
There will also be raffle tickets available for a selection of raffle prizes. There is also an auction online for 12 limited edition numbered 20-ounce tumblers that will be engraved by RD Guns with the person’s name on it. The auction for this has started already, and more information can be found at: https://www.osdct.org/vet-fest-auction
“We just want a fun day for all,” Courtland said. “Something we can build upon for next year as this is our first event. We will want to make it better every year.”
The funds raised from Vet Fest will be used for continuing the OSDCT mission of helping homeless veterans and their families.
“It will allow us to have our larger events with more services and items to give away. It will also assist OSDCT with their new building finances to ensure all bills are taken care of, and they can continue to help veterans daily,” Courtland said. “Since we really do not have any idea how much funds will be raised, this is difficult to pin down.”
Parking for the event is $5, but walk-ins are free. The cornhole tournament will be $40 per two-person team.
The Vet Fest will be located in the same space as the Spring Festival, using Fester’s Stage to the green pavilions, with food trucks near Field #1.
“OSDCT is very excited to be able to do this event in our city and bring together everyone to celebrate our veterans here!” Courtland said. “They have sacrificed for us, so we need to celebrate them. Remember, one homeless veteran is one too many.”
Courtland also wanted to recognize several of the event’s sponsors. Dennis Eakin Kia is the Chinook Sponsor. VFW Post #8577 of Copperas Cove is the Kiowa Sponsor.
The Copperas Cove Leader-Press, American Veterans Mission, Kwik Kar Harker Heights, Rentals to Go, Texas A&M University- Central Texas, Bill French Jewelers and the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove are all Huey Sponsors.
For more information regarding becoming a sponsor or a vendor, visit https://www.osdct.org/vet-fest.