Bellaire VFW to give local vets free breakfast Saturday

File Photo/SHELLEY HANSON BELLAIRE VFW members visit veterans at the local nursing home. This past winter the VFW visited Country Club Retirement Center near the village. Shown here, veteran Wayne Myers, left, receives a free T-shirt from VFW Post 626 Commander Tom Cottello.

BELLAIRE — As a small token of thanks for their service to our country, local veterans are being invited to enjoy a free breakfast at the Bellaire VFW Post 626 from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Tom Cottello, post commander, said the breakfast is a way to say thanks to all veterans during the Independence Day week festivities happening across the region and country. The breakfast will include sausage, hash browns, eggs, bread and beverages.

Cottello said this is the first breakfast he has hosted since becoming commander of the post nearly three years ago.

“It’s just something we wanted to do for our veterans,” he said.

Cottello said periodically the VFW members will go to local nursing homes to visit with veterans and give them hats or T-shirts. Sometimes they will pick up the veterans from the nursing homes, bring them back to the VFW and feed them a special meal.

“We bring them in and let them eat, and let them have a beer or something. We don’t get a lot of them, but the ones who do have a pretty good time,” he said.

The VFW has also brought pizza to veterans at the Carnes Senior Apartments in Bellaire, he noted.

The Bellaire VFW is located at 3154 Belmont St., Bellaire.

The VFW tries to help veterans and others in the community as much as possible. It is required to donate a certain portion of its proceeds made from video gambling there.

Annually the VFW gives scholarships to local students, in addition to helping veterans in need. Last year it covered the cost of new surveillance cameras at the Bellaire Police Department. It also covered the cost of the department’s ammunition for firearms training.

The Bellaire VFW also has one of the best auxiliaries in the state, Cottello said previously. That group holds a large annual craft fair with proceeds going toward the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Mich. The home provides housing, food and schooling for veterans’ families for up to two years. Every VFW is required to help support the facility.

The money also benefits a cancer fund that gives an auxiliary member in need $500 twice during their lifetime if they have cancer. The money can be used toward treatment or other related expenses.

The VFW’s new rules allow men to join the auxiliary, as more military veterans are women who have male spouses who are not veterans. Another new rule allows veterans who did not serve overseas to join the auxiliary. The new rules have helped the Bellaire group and other VFWs tremendously with planning events including the craft fair, members have said.