By Dustin Ensinger
Planning is underway for the 3rd annual “Operation: Forever Grateful” event, an evening of dinner and entertainment to honor local veterans.
The event has moved from under the auspices of the Delaware County Agricultural Society to a sponsorship event, leaving organizer Harold Wolford to ask the Delaware County commissioners for a donation of $4,000.
“That’s the major portion of my funding,” Wolford said.
Although the commissioners took no action Thursday, they appeared to be supportive of the request.
“I trust that we’ll have something on our agenda soon,” Commissioner Gary Merrell said.
In the first year of the event, attendance was under 150. This year, Wolford expects at least 800 people to attend.
“I would like to see this thing continue to live and grow,” he said.
The event, set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Pavilion Hill Tent on the Delaware County Fairgrounds, will feature a free dinner for veterans and up to one guest, entertainment and a keynote speech by Major General (Ret.) Dennis Laich, author of “Skin in the Game: Poor Kids and Patriots.”
Veterans can bring additional guests at a charge of $10 each. The event will also be open to the general public for the first time. General public tickets are $20 and include admission into the fair.
Registration forms area available online at http://www.delawarecountyfair.com/, the fair office and the Delaware County Veterans Services office.
All Occasions Catering has agreed to provide the dinner at cost.
“That’s a huge, huge donation. Without that, it would cost twice as much,” Wolford said.
Veterans IDs will be issued to those that bring their DD214 paperwork. Throughout the week, there will be veterans service organizations on hand to provide information.
Those interested in sponsoring the event can contact Wolford at 740-815-0929.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.