Monthly Archives: August 2020

PVR Bulletin – August 2020


Since the end of March, PROJECT: VetRelief has seen a tremendous increase of financial assistance cases for veterans and their families due to the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses were forced to shut their doors resulting in many people losing their jobs, both permanently and temporarily.
As we officially closed the books on our 6th year, we are proud to report that PROJECT: VetRelief provided 241 veterans and their families support and gave out $216,882.26! That is a 40% increase from last year’s figures. Of the total support cases awarded, 117 of those cases were related to the coronavirus; which is almost half.
It is very apparent that our veteran community needs us to get them through these difficult times! However, our funding is quickly going away and many of our fundraising events have
been cancelled in order to remain compliant to safety orders from local and state governments.
Our program will not be able to keep up with the necessary demand of providing support if we do not secure future funding!
Now, more than ever, we are relying on the entire Legion Family to do what they can to support our program. Whether you are able to hold a socially-distanced fundraiser or make a personal donation, it will take us all working together to provide the help our veterans need!


On Monday, September 21st at approximately 8:30AM, the shotgun for the 7th Annual Golf Tournament hosted by RL James, Inc. will still go off despite the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament is PROJECT: VetRelief’s largest fundraising event and would be a huge financial strain if it were cancelled!

Golfers will enjoy a premier experience at the Bella Collina Golf Course, located in Monteverde, FL and should expect a day filled with fun and many chances to win some cool prizes while staying safe.

During the awards banquet and luncheon, there will be a silent auction and a tasty buffet equipped with delicious BBQ.

There are opportunities to join in on this exciting event. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Cooper at 407-295-2631 to reserve your spot or foursome today! There are also a few volunteer positions available, if you’d like to come and help out. Hope to see you there!

Click here for event details


By Bob & Bonnie Lehmiller

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to close, many Americans out of work, donations to dry up, and fundraising events were cancelled or altered, Florida American Legion Riders Chapter 152 was adamant they would still make an impact during the Virtual Unity Ride. They were initially faced with several questions: How do they spread the word for the cause? How do they raise funds? And how do they find more donations?

Chapter members began conversations and focused on thinking outside the box. The first $1,200 quickly originated from an idea created on a Friday night from Bob & Bonnie Lehmiller’s hot tub. They challenged members to match their initial donation of $100. From there, they decided to set the team’s fundraising goal to $5,000.

The Chapter quickly organized drive-thru dinners in the American Legion parking lot, donated when riding the 22-miles, challenged each other with matching funds, and had 50/50 drawings. They were so successful that they expanded their drive-thru dinners and challenged other Chapters within the District to raise $500 for them to match.

A surprise donation of $2,600 spurred them on to increasing their goal to $10,000. They worked every angle they could to reach their new goal and every member pitched in to help. They are so thankful and proud of their donors and members for making Chapter 152 the top fundraising group and putting District 15 on top along the way! Best of all, they managed to do this all in their first year of being American Legion Riders Chapter!


Board President, Bob James, and Executive Co-Director, Jennifer Cooper, give a brief overview of the program’s accomplishments for the past year for The American Legion, Department of Florida’s OPERATION: 6 Feet Apart Virtual Awards Ceremony.