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PSE Foundation grant will help Whidbey veterans

By KATHY REED
South Whidbey Record Reporter
January 21, 2013 · Updated 10:07 AM
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Veterans Resource Center executive director Fred McCarthy, right, and American Legion Post 141 Commander Jim Knott accept a check from Walt Blackford, Puget Sound Energy Community Services Manager. Also pictured from left are Kord Roosen Runge, Ralph Brotherton, Greg Morgan, Kat Ersch and Jim Lautenbach. / Kathy Reed / The Record

The Veterans Resource Center in Langley has just been given a grant to give its new home a facelift.

Walt Blackford, Puget Sound Energy’s Community Services Manager for Whidbey Island, presented a check for $5,000 to the VRC at the American Legion Post 141 in Langley last Monday afternoon.

“This is a new beginning for a great organization,” said VRC Executive Director Fred McCarthy.

The money will be used to renovate the lower level of the American Legion building along Highway 525 in Langley. The Legion has housed the VRC for the past several months, providing a permanent home for the young nonprofit organization, which has had several different locations since it began. It’s a partnership which suits both organizations, according to Post Commander Jim Knott.

“Working together helps veterans,” he said. “We’re all about helping our vets.”

The money is a grant from the Puget Sound Energy Foundation and was awarded as part of the 2012 grant cycle.

“What I enjoy most about my job is being able to identify important local groups and help direct resources to where they can do the most good,” said Blackford, who added that the PSE Foundation gave $27,000 to Whidbey Island groups in 2012.

VRC volunteers will donate their time and talent to the renovations, which McCarthy anticipates will take about three months to complete.

The Legion has been gathering items for a sale to be held later in January and once the sale items are out of the way, remodeling of the 1,600-square-foot space will begin.

The VRC provides counseling and information services to veterans and their families throughout Whidbey Island. Contact the VRC by calling 331-8081 or emailing info@vrcwi.com.

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