VFW Post 8577 donates bingo proceeds to CCPD
By Brittany Fholer
The Olan Forest Smith VFW Post 8577 used proceeds from their bingo games to purchase much needed equipment and items that they donated to the Copperas Cove Police Department at the bingo game held Tuesday evening.
State law only allows charitable bingo, where proceeds are donated to nonprofit community organizations. The VFW in Copperas Cove offers bingo games the last two Tuesdays of every month plus every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of each month and reaches out to local organizations to donate money or items to give back.
The VFW has donated $14,032 in bingo donations, from games played July to September 2017, with an additional $13,850 from games played during October and November 2017.
The VFW reaches out to the community to let them know that funds are available thanks to the people who play Bingo, according to Bingo Chairman Dana Watson.
“What we want to do is to try to make our community better because I mean, as veterans, most all of our lives, we’ve served in one way or another and now that we’re retired, there’s no reason for it to end,” Watson said. “We can still give to our community and we’re here. We support the community and we appreciate everything the community does for us.”
Post Commander Herb Wright added that this type of giving is what they’re supposed to do.
The VFW purchased computer monitors, digital cameras, neighborhood watch signs, key lock boxes and some additional items for the Organized Crime Unit to donate to the CCPD. The key lock boxes are part of a program called “Are You Okay?” designed to help with checking in on the elderly and disabled residents of Cove.
The boxes are placed on the residents’ doors and hold a key that first responders can use to access the house if the resident does not answer their phone or door during a welfare check. The program will consist of a database with the residents’ information and at least once a week, the CCPD will call and reach out to these residents to make sure that they are okay, according to Copperas Cove Police Chief Eddie Wilson. If the resident does not answer, this will trigger a response to their home to physically check and make sure that they are okay.
“One of the things we certainly recognize is there’s a lot of programs going on in the city, Parks and Rec, that really services our children and those sort of things but there’s really not a lot of services or a lot of programs that really look out for our disabled and our elderly folks so we definitely wanted to get something in place so we can look out for their wellbeing,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he was appreciative of the partnership with the VFW because the department had a need for the items. There were programs that the department struggled to get off the ground, including this Are You Okay? Program, due to the budget already being in place when the idea for the programs came about, Wilson said. He added that this was the perfect opportunity to fund this community program.
Wilson also shared that this is the first time an organization has stepped in and agreed to donate this large of an amount to the department.
The VFW is also currently working on a large donation to the Copperas Cove Fire Department, according to Watson.
For more information on the Olan Forest Smith VFW Post 8577, visit their website www.vfw8577.com