Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 25, 2014

Fundraiser to help soldiers

WOODLAWN — A special fundraiser set for March 29 in Woodlawn will raise money for the HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes soldier recovery program.

HOOAH stands for Healing Outside Of A Hospital. The program gives wounded Army soldiers the chance to go on hunting and fishing trips to enjoy camaraderie and hasten their healing process.

Organizers of the Woodlawn fundraiser hope to raise at least $5,000, which will help pay for a planned HOOAH hunting trip in Jefferson County this October.

The money will mainly go toward hunting clothes and supplies, crossbows, transportation costs and food.

“To see the soldiers change in front of you is pretty cool,” said Tom Huffington, founder of HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes. “The camaraderie you get in deer camp, (it) gives them a chance to relax and share. … None of us has had a bad day since we met these guys.”

The fundraiser will take place at 11:30 a.m. March 29 at

Woodlawn Christian Church, 501 Green St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Advance tickets can be purchased at Woodlawn Christian Church, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, or through the Young Marines organization.

In addition to the fundraiser, there will be a special HOOAH informational meeting at 1 p.m. March 29 at the church.

During this session, two of the soldiers who have participated in the program will talk about how HOOAH has impacted their lives.

Tom Gaither of rural Woodlawn, a HOOAH volunteer, said the fundraiser will feature a full meal and a silent auction made up of donated items.

The menu includes a choice of barbecue or grilled chicken sandwich, baked beans, coleslaw, chips, dessert, and a choice of tea, lemonade or water to drink.

Donations are still being sought for the silent auction. Items that will be available include a gun cabinet and gift baskets or certificates donated by area businesses.

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