The 2021 Remember-A-Vet Campaign, sponsored annually by the Battle Creek Enquirer to benefit Veterans at the VA Medical Center, has raised just over $40,000 this year. In 2020, donations totaled over $15,000.
“Our donors have been very generous with the amounts they have sent this year,” said Todd Greenman, Chief, Community and Volunteer Service. “This is a testament that the community supports and remembers the Veterans we serve.”
The 68-year-old program started in December 1953 when Art Middleton, a reporter and editor at the local newspaper and a Veteran himself, proposed the fund-raising program after some readers asked how they could support Veterans that were hospitalized. He outlined the program in an article, and the Battle Creek Enquirer continues the program today starting each year on Thanksgiving through January 1.
Donors now send their donation to the VA’s Community and Volunteer Service who deposits all the checks in to the Remember-A-Vet General Post Fund. On seven holidays through the year, each inpatient receives a Canteen coupon book that they can use to purchase food in the cafeteria or items in the Canteen store, and a variety are snacks are provided to patients in the Inpatient Mental Health units. Daily newspaper subscriptions for the USA Today and Battle Creek Enquirer newspapers are also delivered for Veterans to read on the units that are paid for from this fund.
In 1971, Middleton died, and his wife continued supporting the program until her death. The tradition continues with the family as daughter Pam Lajoie, and granddaughter Shannon Cochran both work at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center and are pleased that his legacy continues.
This year’s donors are:
American Legion Auxiliary 298
American Legion Auxiliary Unit #45
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 64
American Legion Post 55
BCCHS Hall of Fame
Daughters of the American Revolution Battle Creek Chapter
Dr. Craig Miller
Jewish War Veterans of the United States
Julie Tait Trust
Kenneth Bell Trust
Knights of Columbus Assembly 3542
Knights of Columbus St. Philip Church
Maranatha Original Church of God
Mary Ellen Jackson
Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 110
Miriam Bible Study Group
National Woman's Relief Corps
Rose Mary Coakes
Russell Van Nortwick
United Auto Workers Local 373
United Auto Workers Local 652
VFW Auxiliary Post 2335
VFW Auxiliary Post 5319
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5319
Virginia Hensley Trust
Warren Van Nortwick