Longest running volunteer organization serves up walleye to veterans
Pike for Vets was awarded $1,250 through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation for their annual walleye donations to veterans. The goal is to gather walleye fillets, through private, community organizations, and fishing tournament donations and provide a fish dinner.
Pike for Vets processes, stores, and delivers approximately 400 pounds of fish fillets to the Fort Snelling Veterans’ Hospital. They also purchase walleye fillets for the Silver Bay Veterans Home. In addition to collecting and storing walleye fillets, they help various Veteran organizations with resources and monetary help.
“Pike for Vets is the longest running volunteer organization serving veterans,” says Joe Maurer of Grand Rapids Pike for Vets. “Now we have expanded our scope and assist the Veterans on the Water organization, with manpower and a fish dinner.” Veterans on the Water is a non-profit organization that offers free fishing trips to veterans of all ages.
“During our Annual Grant Cycle, we seek to join charitable intentions with community need, and Pike for Vets is a long-time community project that serves our veterans in a wonderful way,” says Sarah Copeland, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Interim Director of Operations.
The Community Foundation has been providing grants to Pike for Vets through their Annual Grant Cycle for the past three years. This year, the Larry and C. Jeanne Cook Memorial Fund and the Barzen Fund, two donor advised funds, supported this most worthwhile program. The year before, the Barzen Fund and the Veterans’ Support Fund provided funding.
Copeland adds, “The Veterans’ Support Fund is an endowment at the Community Foundation that does what its name says – it supports veterans. I remember when Mr. Anderson established the fund in 2007. Young people were going over to Iraq and Afghanistan, and he spoke about how this was his way to support the soldiers. He wasn’t able to go with them, but he could support them when they returned.”
Anyone can donate to the Veterans’ Support Fund. From helping Pike for Vets to providing crisis grants to help local veterans with food or housing, as an endowment, the Veterans’ Support Fund provides forever care of our neighbors who served.
“For example, Diane Bedient provided a substantial memorial to the Veterans’ Support Fund in honor of her husband Butch,” states Copeland. “Always supportive of service members, memorials for Butch are provided to grow the Veterans’ Support Fund, enabling us to help veterans long-term.”
If you are interested in supporting Pike contact Roy LaDoux in Grand Rapids at (218) 326-1374.
The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for over 25 years to make our Greater Itasca Area – and the world – a better place to live. We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, schedule a visit by calling (218) 999-9100.