Sonora, CA — The Fairgrounds will host the inaugural Mother Lode Stand Down the first weekend of October for homeless honorably discharged veterans.
The general chairman of the event is the founder of Viet Nam Veterans Post 391 in Tuolumne County Frank Smart.
Smart says the three day event (it gets underway Friday, Oct. 3 at 6am) will offer both male and female homeless veterans a chance to shower, obtain some clean clothes, enjoy prepared hot meals and fellowship with their peers.
In addition, the Veterans Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office and the District Attorney´s Office will be on hand. There will also be a Job Fair along with an Information Fair.
Already the Sonora Area Foundation has donated $1,500 along with $500 from the Elks Club. Other agencies or groups donating product and/or cash include the Groveland and ´49 Rotary Clubs, Blue Mountain Minerals, Womens´ Veterans Association, Doc´s Bar-B-Q, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Lighthouse Ministries. Total cost of the weekend event is $17-19,000.
Smart adds that he has received $9,000 from the Veterans Administration along with another $3,000 from the California Department of Veteran Affairs. Unfortunately those funds cannot be used for food to feed the veterans so Smart is hopeful for a donation of 120 steaks and 120 chickens for the Friday and Saturday evening dinners. Overall Smart estimated between 800 and a thousand meals will be served. He can be reached at (209) 533-4414.
Stand Down, with Smart and Publicity Chairman Bill Chamberlain, will be the focus of this weekend´s Mother Lode Views. MLV can be heard Saturday on AM-1450 KVML at 9:30am and on STAR 92.7 Sunday at 9am. MLV can also be heard on Today´s Country 93.5 KKBN at 10am Sunday.
Mother Lode Views will then be posted under Live Audio Streams on the home page of MyMotherLode.com Tuesday, September 16.
Written by Bill Johnson