The Bronx Wanderers—a famed Rock and Roll band legend—left Las Vegas and stormed ashore at Groton Long Point on September 14 to headline the Fifth Annual “A Hand Up” fundraiser for area charities. For the past three years the event has been dedicated to Work Vessels for Vets.
A capacity crowd of 300 danced to oldies, enjoyed the food and libations at the Groton Long Point Community Center, and wrote checks to WVFV. This sold-out dance party has been donating all proceeds to helpe returning veterans get the “vessel” (or similar key piece of equipment) they need to start their own businesses.
So far, this event has raised $12,000 for Work Vessels for Vets and, in addition, Work Vessels for Vets Chairman John Niekrash gave veterans three trucks, three cars and two 25-foot boats along with $3,000 worth of tools, a dumptruck and a landscape trailer—as well as 16 laptop computers.
This year, a fishing boat was donated to veteran Todd Rohr who is expanding his wounded warrior recreational fishing program to Florida and New Hampshire. One of Connecticut’s own National Guardsmen who just returned from Afghanistan received a laptop for his new business, and a pickup truck full of new tools was also donated to a Connecticut-based, veteran-owned “green construction” company.
Many friends collaborated to make the evening a success, including the U.S. Naval Submarine Base Silver Dolphins Color Guard; Groton Police Lt. Kevin McCarthy, who sang The National Anthem in a thrilling Irish tenor voice; and Valenti Auto Mall, honored for its “Valenti’s Vehicles for Vets Program.”
Next year’s “A Hand Up—2: Honor the Vet” Celebration is scheduled for September 13.
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