Okeechobee fishing tournament to benefit veterans

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County commissioners Thursday voiced their support of a fishing tournament to benefit the VFW Post 10539 Veterans Assistance Fund. The commissioners unanimously agreed to waive the bleacher use fee at the Scott Driver recreation area, and to allow the sale of draft beer at the tournament.

Dennis Conner of VFW Post 10539 explained that the fishing tournament is planned for Saturday, Nov. 17, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weigh-in will start at 3 p.m.

The event will include live music from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will also feature arts and crafts vendors, a children’s fishing tournament from the bank and other children’s activities.

Mr. Conner said that last year, more than 90 children participated in the children’s event. Each child received a rod and reel, which were donated.

Mr. Conner said last year the tournament raised $18,000 for the Veterans Assistance Fund.

This money is used to help local veterans and their families. Last year, he explained, they built handicapped ramps for a disabled veteran and for the widow of veteran,
In other business, the commissioners approved the procedure for Okeechobee County combat-wounded veterans to receive recognition under the Purple Heart county program.

Okeechobee County was designated a Purple Heart County on Feb, 22, honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation’s men and women in uniform, wounded or killed by the enemy, while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans. The purpose of this recognition program is to recognize at a local, hometown level those individuals who, in the defense of their country, sustained injuries from combat and were awarded the Purple Heart.

The nomination process begins with the county veterans service officer, who will verify the information and forward it to the Okeechobee Veterans Council Inc. for review of the nominations and the selection process.

Combat-wounded veterans will be honored at Okeechobee County Commission meetings.

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