Brentwood VFW Post 1810, State Rep Readshaw to hold Purse Bash Jan. 26
January 15, 2019
To help support local veterans and their families in 2019, Veterans of Foreign Wars Brentwood Post 1810 is doing something a little different. Rather than a football tailgating fundraiser or firearms raffle, the veterans' group is hosting its second annual purse bash.
Co-sponsored by Pennsylvania District 36 State Representative Harry Readshaw, the Jan. 26 purse bash will be held at Salvatore's Banquet Hall on Curry Road, Pittsburgh. Starting at 1 p.m., designer handbags, purses and backpacks will be raffled off approximately every quarter hour. Other prizes at the event will include a shopping spree, spa package, gift card and cookware set.
"We've held other events to raise money over the years, but the purse bash is something people have really shown an interest in," said VFW Post 1810 Commander David Buechel, a United States Navy veteran. "It is a great way for people to get together and have a good time, and also help veterans."
Rep. Readshaw, a Marine Corps veteran, agreed.
"Our veterans appreciate the support they receive from our community," the state legislator said. "The good work we do to help them and their family members benefits us all."
Tickets for the event are $35, each with three chances at a prize. Buffet lunch will be provided with the cost of the ticket. No outside alcoholic beverages will be permitted, and all participants must be at least 18 years of age. Doors open at noon.
Those interested in purchasing tickets for the event can contact VFW Post 1810 at 412-881-9934.
According to Mr. Buechel, 100 percent of all profits earned above costs at this event will go the post community service fund to support local veterans and their family members.
"Our post and its auxiliary are very active, and with the programs we're involved in, we volunteer time but still need money," the post commander said. "We also support many of the programs sponsored by the VFW, especially its service officers."
Available to all veterans at no cost, service officers funded by the VFW have a long tradition of aiding veterans in accessing hard-earned benefits. According to statistics compiled by the Department of Pennsylvania VFW, state service officers helped 2,099 veterans with initial compensation claims to the Veterans Administration over the last fiscal year, with another 802 veterans assisted in reopening existing compensation claims.
In all, 6,708 claims were submitted through department service officers during the 2017-18 fiscal year. This resulted in more than $18 million paid in disability compensation, and over $7 million paid in retroactive benefits to veterans and their families.
Funds raised by VFW Post 1810 help VFW service officers link veterans to the benefits merited through their time in the military. Each fund raiser done by the Brentwood post contributes to this effort.
Throughout last year, nearly 50,000 veterans and their family members received some level of support from Pennsylvania VFW service officers, with the staff handling more than 407,000 separate communications over the past six years.
On a national scale, the VFW's efforts are even more impressive. Over the last dozen years, approximately 2 million service members and their families have received help from the VFW Military Assistance Program. Additionally, the VFW's world-wide network of service officers over a three-year period has helped nearly 300,000 disabled veterans recover approximately $6.9 billion in benefits.
Pittsburgh-area posts like VFW Post 1810 have supported local student scholarship programs, as well as activities benefiting the Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
Founded in 1932, VFW Post 1810 participates in events such as the annual Brentwood Fourth of July Parade, as well as youth essay programs. The 600-member post also honors outstanding educators, police and first responders with annual awards and recognition. An honor guard that conducts military burial services for veterans is also sponsored by the post.
In recent years, filling the ranks with new members has become a greater challenge for VFW Post 1810. Requirements for joining the 120-year-old society founded in Pittsburgh are often more restrictive than other veterans service organizations. Each candidate for the VFW must present documented proof of receiving a campaign or occupational medal for overseas service, or have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea, or received hostile fire or imminent danger pay. Additionally, no applicant with a dishonorable discharge is accepted.
Although the group welcomes social members, veterans are needed to keep the unit moving forward, Mr. Buechel said.
For more information about the VFW Post 1810 and its activities, contact the unit at 412-881-9934.
(Michael P. Mauer is the Public Affairs Officer for VFW District 29. He served as an Army photojournalist during Operation Desert Storm, and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf for his actions during the war.)