Local veterans and their families will be feted from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the 3rd Annual Veterans Appreciation Celebration at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, 5255 N. Abbe Road.

Facility Director Jennifer Bernard said the event is held to let veterans know that they are appreciated.

“To us, they are not just our patients here,” she said. “They are our nation’s heroes, and we enjoy taking some time out to show our gratitude."

A band will play and picnic lunch will be served. In addition, veterans and their families will take part in raffle drawings. Bernard said VA staff have donated items and helped create many of the baskets that will be raffled.

Vets will have an opportunity to discuss benefits with VA staff and community organizations, and chat with vendors.

A short program will include remarks from Bernard; Kim Robertson, director, Community Outpatient Services, VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System; and Sheffield Village Mayor John Hunter.

The American Legion Department of Ohio, sponsor of Gifts for Yanks, is underwriting expenses for the event with additional support from American Legion Post 12 in Elyria.

Bernard said she expects 200 to attend.

Michele Murphy is a freelance writer in Avon Lake.

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