One group with a reputation for battling in enemy territory has waged a war against hunger on their home turf.
Veterans of War Post 6855 and the Ladies Auxiliary plan to continue their tradition to provide the fixings for Christmas dinner including meat, potatoes, bread and other perishable items to needy Vilonia families. However, their funding for the endeavor is low.
"Our funds are low, and the names of more families are coming in every day. So many people have lost their jobs. It’s tough — very tough out there," said Judy Kelley of the Ladies Auxiliary. "Last year, our budget was $3,300, and we fed about 51 families. We’ve got $2,200 this year."
This year, the number of families they plan to help has grown to more than 80 and is still climbing on a daily basis, Kelley said. As a fundraiser, the VFW and auxiliary plans to sponsor a spaghetti supper from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 12 at Vann’s Restaurant, 1090 Main St. in Vilonia. All of the proceeds will go to help feed the hungry.
"We need a great turnout for this," Kelley said. "This year, this is going to really make a difference. Last year, we did it too and raised about $1,000. We need to raise more this year with more families to feed."
As owner of the restaurant, Kelley donates the facility for the event. The menu will include spaghetti, vegetables, bread, salad, homemade dessert and a drink. The cost is $8 for an adult and $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under eat free.
Counselor LaRhonda Roberts of Vilonia Middle School provides the names and particulars to the VFW post allowing them to prepare a box of food appropriately suited for the number in the family. The school also holds canned food drives to help out in the endeavor.
"But, we need a lot of help this year — more than in past years," Roberts said.
More than 20 turkeys, Roberts said, have been donated, but that is just a drop in the bucket considering what will be needed.
"We’ve just got a lot of families that have hit bumps this year, and our funds are limited," she added.
To donate, contact Kelley at 328-7492 or Roberts at 796-2940.