Christmas Extravaganza

December 11, 2009

Brentwood Veterans Hall Christmas Extravaganza

Toy Drive and Dinner
757 First Street, Brentwood, CA 94513 (Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building)
Dinner, Dancing and Prizes
No Host Bar 18:00 (6 pm)
Dinner served at 19:00 (7 pm)
Music and Dancing until 23:00 (11 pm)
Bring a Toy for Toys for Tots!
$15 per person (Choice of Chicken Dijon or Spaghetti and Meatballs)
For Tickets contact John Hofstadt @ (925) 989-9923

Toys For Tots gives $4k to Veterans Hall


Partygoers’ gift to local veterans: $21K
by Rick Lemyre
07.23.09 - 12:39 pm
There were tears and smiles, hugs and handshakes, kudos and thanks, and it was all topped off by checks totaling $21,000. It was, in and of itself, a nice little party, but it paled in comparison to the partying that made it possible.
The occasion was the distribution of proceeds from the What A Country Challenge, the brainchild of Discovery Bay’s Frank Morgan and his “Team.” What started as a plan to celebrate Morgan’s earning a master’s degree turned into an effort to raise money for local veterans. The team threw down the gauntlet, challenging others to party, pass the hat and contribute to the well-being of the men and women who protect Americans’ privilege to have such fun.
The idea swept East County and beyond like wildfire: About 800 people attended Morgan’s party (which also sprawled across six neighbors’ homes); another bash was held at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club; a Car and Motorcycle Show was sponsored by Red Barn Hot Rods; a red, white and blue hot tub was carted around far East County on a “Freedom Tour” by Ed McClellend; jumpers from Bay Area Sky Diving dropped in; three bands played, sponsored by Bill Brandt Ford; and a Vietnam-era Army helicopter sat on the front lawn as a decoration, courtesy of Harvest Park Bowl. Laurie Yglesia of Discovery Bay spent $400 on a special magnum of wine labeled in memory of Iraq casualty Spc. Joey Graves – and she doesn’t even drink wine. Restaurants, Web masters, party suppliers and supporters of all types all came together (for a complete list of all 200 or so, log on to and click “sponsors”).
“I’m very honored that I get to be the one up here that talks,” Morgan told a crowd of about two dozen assembled for the distribution at the Veterans Memorial Building in Brentwood on Saturday. “But there were a lot of people that came together to do this. It was off-the-chart unbelievable. The most important thing is that all this came together to raise money to help our troops.”
Assisted by the board of the Veterans Memorial Building, which handled the finances and provided the umbrella tax ID to make donations deductible, Morgan handed out eight checks:
1) Wounded Warrior Project = $1,000
National organization providing services and support to severely injured service members.
2) Homes For Our Troops = $1,000
Raises donations of money, building materials and professional labor, coordinates building a new home or adapting an existing home for severely injured veterans, and then gives the home to the vet at no cost.
3) Delta Blue Star Moms = $1,000
Mothers of local service members who provide support for each other and send packages to troops overseas.
4) Ed McClelland = $2,000
Conducted the Hot Tub Tour and manned the booth at all the stops for more than two weeks. Ed has also sent more than 180 packages overseas, and will use the money to send more. It was “a true blessing to have been a part of this,” McClelland e-mailed this week. “Frank Morgan keeps deflecting credit/praise – he put together something really special. So many people stepped up and made a difference for our soldiers and veterans.”
5) Kevin Graves = $2,000
Kevin, the father of Spc. Joey Graves, will use the money in the Joey Graves Foundation to promote veterans’ causes such as the pursuit of Gold Star license plates for the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
6) Martin S. Wise = $4,000
Wise, a Coast Guard veteran who lives in Oakley, has terminal cancer and a host of other medical problems. “I am so appreciative of what you’ve done for us,” Wise said on Saturday. “I lie in my hospital bed at night wondering how I can care for my family. This really helps.”
7) Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building Inc. = $4,000
The Brentwood Veterans Building is a place for all veterans to socialize and meet on a regular basis for veteran activities. The Board of Directors is in the process of remodeling the outdated bathrooms in the building so they are ADA compliant.
8) The Anthony Family = $6,000
Don Anthony is a veteran who has undergone hip replacement surgery and suffers from other ailments. Sandy Anthony has been diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer, along with many other health problems. The Knightsen family, which includes three teenage daughters, has lost its home and is currently searching for a place to go.
“This check is life-changing,” Don said Saturday. “We just can’t believe the outpouring of love from the community. We’re thankful for everything everyone has done for us.”
Morgan closed by reminding the crowd that the What A Country Challenge wasn’t a one-party event. His team is looking into monthly events to continue to raise money, and promises another major party next summer.
Veterans Win Stimulus Grant


Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building, Inc.
2420 Sand Creek Road No. C1 121, Brentwood, California, 94513
Veterans Win Stimulus Grant
BRENTWOOD, CALIFORNIA (June 3, 2009) Trustee George Martinez announced today that the Brentwood Veterans Hall has been awarded a $50,000 stimulus grant to renovate the 84 year old building. “This grant will enable Brentwood veterans to begin the process of renovating Veterans Hall up to ADA standards to better serve veterans and the Brentwood community ”.  
Brentwood Veterans Hall is managed by a Board of Trustees consisting of American Legion, Marine Corps League and Veterans of Foreign Wars members.  The Hall is dedicated as a living memorial to the memory of those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedom and to honor the service of veterans and active duty men and women.  
“Brentwood veterans welcome this beginning and remain committed to the raising of sufficient funds to finish renovating the Hall in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, to build a kitchen, and to make the building more energy efficient” Martinez said.
Donations to the Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building fund can be mailed to BVMB, 2420 Sand Creek Rd #C1 l21,  Brentwood, CA 94513.
ADDITIONAL INFO: George Martinez, Vice-Chairman (925) 513-7152



New Flag Retirement Box

Flag BoxZach Friedmann, 

I want to thank you for provided a flag retirement box in front of the Veterans hall. It is the most appropriate place for one in Brentwood. As veterans we appreciate young men and women who have patriotic attitude to provide the community with a means to properly retire US flags.
Old Glory has provided an inspiration for countless millions in this and other countries. For those set against the freedom of all peoples, they fear what it stands for. That such a piece of cloth in three colors should cause such great inspiration and such fear is a testament to the ideals it stands for.
"..My anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes are irresistibly excited, whenever, in any country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom." - George Washington
We the Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building Board of Trustees are honored to host your Eagle Scout project. May it continue to serve this great community.
Donald E. Hester
Chairmen and President
Brentwood Veterans Memorial Building
(Zack Friedmann, of Troop 90, provided the Flag Box in front of the Veterans Building as his Eagle Scout project.)
Upgrades Planned for Vet Hall

by Rick Lemyre (Brentwood Press)

It’s stood sentinel on the corner of First and Maple streets for 84 years, honoring veterans and providing a venue for countless community activities. And while the events are scheduled to continue unabated through the spring and summer, a major effort is getting underway to enable it to continue its mission far into the future.
Built in 1924 as a place for World War I veterans to gather, the building belongs to Contra Costa County, which leases it back to the veterans for $1 per year. There’s no money to maintain or improve it, however, so all upkeep and improvements have been accomplished through renting the building for community events, holding fundraisers, securing occasional grants from the City of Brentwood and the efforts of veterans and local service clubs. Over the years that has meant new air conditioners, kitchen equipment, flooring and paint, but a recently assembled group wants to make even more significant upgrades.
“As a memorial, we want it to reflect the importance of the veterans it was built for” and all those who have served since, said Don Hester of the Marine Corps League. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars also use the building, and members of each are on the board of the new Veterans Memorial Building charity set up to care for the hall.
Planned improvements include a remodeled kitchen, ADA-compliant bathrooms, a new flagpole and a general sprucing up of the décor. Rough estimates put the costs at more than $200,000; precise numbers are currently being put together.
“It’s going to be some money,” said Legionnaire George Martinez, one of the building’s new trustees. “We don’t know how much yet, but we’re not letting any grass grow under our feet.”
In addition to an effort to attract more rent-producing events (starting at about $400, the rates are competitive with other local venues, the vets say) the group is planning a number of events of its own. The first is a Casino Night set for May 1, which will include Texas Hold’em, craps, roulette and blackjack. There will be door prizes, silent auctions and raffles, and food and drinks will be available. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 p.m. and games begin at 7.
Other events will follow, but throughout them all, the veterans who gather at the hall regularly say the goal is the same: Honor and serve the vets who meet there, while continuing to provide a place where Boy and Girl Scouts can meet for free, where the Women’s and Men’s clubs can get together, and where literally tons of fresh crab, spaghetti and tri-tip can be consumed to benefit the community.
“Like the veterans who meet here and who continue to serve their community, the building is the same way,” said Hester. “It will continue to serve the community. It just needs a little help.”
For tickets to Casino night or to arrange to rent the Hall, call 925-634-0736.
Pasted from
Used with permission.

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