Local vets gear up for POW/MIA weekend

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Two Old Orchard Beach organizations, VFW Post 7997 and Alouette Resorts, made donations of $1,000 and $400, respectively, to the Maine Heroes Fund for its upcoming POW/MIA Recognition weekend.

VFW Donation - 3

Richard Giroux, Mike McInnis, Russ Warriner, and Bill Day, members of VFW Post 7997 Old Orchard Beach, present Warriner with $1,000 to go toward assisting local veterans. (David Arenstam photo)

VFW Commander Richard Giroux, Quartermaster Mike McInnis and Senior Vice Commander Bill Day were all present when the donation was made to Russ Warriner, primary organizer for the second annual event to honor veterans.

“This means a great deal to us,” Warriner said. “There were a lot of people at The Ballpark last year and we’d like to make it even better this year,” he said referring to the September event.

Warriner said his group is trying to hold a series of fundraising events in Old Orchard Beach during this summer to raise funds for the recognition weekend.

“It’s going to be Sept. 20 through (Sept. 22),” he said. “We are trying to do everything we can.”

On Saturday, July 6, the group will hold a car wash at the Old Orchard Fire Station from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be a bean supper Saturday, July 13 at the Lions Club at 128 Saco Ave., and then Sunday, Aug. 18, the group will sponsor a golf tournament at Dunegrass Country Club.

“The golf tournament is set to start at 2 p.m. and it’s a shotgun start for teams of four,” Warriner said. “This year we’ll even have hole-in-one prizes. Bill Dodge is giving away a car and Big-Moose Harley is giving away a motorcycle.”

Fred Kennedy, from Alouette Resorts, making a $400 donation to Russ Warriner.

Fred Kennedy, from Alouette Resorts, making a $400 donation to Russ Warriner.

Warriner said last year his group was able to raise more than $20,000 during the weekend-long event and, after all the expenses were paid, a donation of more than $7,000 was made in the name of all veterans to the Warrior Legacy Foundation.

“It’s important to me that we help all vets,” Warriner said. “There are lots of us out there. We donated money and the Patriot Riders donated directly in our name.”

Pam Payeur, executive director of the Warrior Legacy Foundation, helped Warriner and his group distribute the funds.

“We use the moneys in a variety of ways,” Payeur said. “We buy heating oil, we help make rent payments and we give general assistance. It’s important to do whatever we can.”

For more information about the upcoming POW/MIA weekend, or to make a donation, contact Russ Warriner at Russ@russellwarriner.com, or POW-MIA Recognition Weekend , P.O. Box 1124, Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064.


David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at www.BrysonTaylorPublishing.com