THE OPERATION FREEDOM committee presented checks from the 2018 Operation Freedom game – totaling more than $16,000 – to the Durand VFW and AMVETS clubs during halftime of the Durand varsity girls basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 13. Each group received a check for $8,379.73, which will be used to help Durand-area veterans pay rent or utility bills, have handicap accessible ramps installed on their homes or any other unexpected financial necessities.

   Former Durand varsity football coach Jason Gray held the initial Operation Freedom game in 2016, and the event has grown significantly since then, shared Operation Freedom committee member Derrick Alward on Dec. 13.

   Alward thanked Durand Youth Football and Cheer, Durand Poms, Durand Area Schools administrators, Athletic Director Floyd Lincoln, and Lance Powell and Sierra Sinelli for their support, and he also thanked the many financial contributors who helped make the evening’s impressive donation possible.

   The financial contributors included the event’s presenting sponsors, XYZ Landscaping, Riverside Market, Shaw’s Pharmacy & Gifts and LJ Inc; the fireworks sponsors, the Durand and Bancroft Lions and Lioness clubs and the Lennon Lions; the family of Dave Zsigo; and the 100+ Women Who Care of the Greater Durand Area.

   Shown during the check presentation is (from left) Operation Freedom committee members Derrick Alward, Holly Johnson, Blair Pancheck, Barb Dingman, Brian Johnson and Lisa Alward, along with Durand VFW members Joe Cooney (commander), Dennis Martin and Mike Shepard, and Durand AMVETS Commander Russ Amidon.

   To apply for assistance, veterans can contact the Durand VFW Post 2272, at 923 N. Saginaw Rd., or Durand AMVETS Post 2273, at 8495 E. M-71.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Operation Freedom was last modified: December 24th, 2018 by Karen Elford