The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 191 in Canonsburg is collecting money to purchase school supplies for elementary students within Canon-McMillan and Chartiers-Houston school districts.
The veterans typically hosts the Dan “Itch” Higgins Chili Open Golf Outing to raise funds for a toy drive, to give Christmas presents for families in need, and to also fund a Christmas party for children at the post. This year, they’ll still do the golf outing, but due to COVID-19 regulations, they had to cancel the cook-off, party and toy drive.
Alex “Nob” Nakoneczny, a veteran with the post and chairman of the fundraiser, said every year they get enough donations to cover the costs of the children’s party and the events, with extra that goes to the toy drive. Last year, that “extra” amounted to $2,500, he said.
“This VFW is an integral part of this community,” said post Commander Barry Andrews. “And we don’t ask for a blessed thing. But we all know how difficult this has been for families.”
When they realized what a difficult adjustment students, parents and teachers were dealing with because of the pandemic, they decided to help out with any donations.
“Because of the virus, that’s why we’re reaching out to the community to help the kids,” Nakoneczny said.
Nakoneczny and Andrews said they met with Erin Cox and Kate Speers, members of the parent-teacher association at South Central Elementary. The money will go to the PTA groups and from there be distributed to the students, parents and teachers for whatever supplies, field trips or educational material they need.
“We went to battle on foreign soil for our country,” Nakoneczny said. “We want to fight on American soil for our children.”
After the fundraising campaign ends Oct. 1, they’ll divide the money up per student in both districts. Monetary donations can be dropped off in person to the VFW post at 539 W. Pike St., from 1 to 9 p.m., or can be sent by mail.
Nakoneczny said that with all the conflict going on in the world, “we want to show America that two school districts can make a difference.”