Veteran programs to get needed boost from weekend fundraiser - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Veteran programs to get needed boost from weekend fundraiser

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - Sunday's Pins for Patriots bowling fundraiser in Quincy aims to give two local veterans organizations a financial boost.

Six String Heroes organization helps local veterans deal with issues like depression or PTSD by giving them free guitar lessons and a guitar, and it relies on fundraising and donations to keep going. Veteran James McKinney who is in the Six String Heroes program says learning to play the guitar has helped him a lot.

"Oh, it's like you get away from everything for the 30 minutes you're here, everything outside doesn't exist," McKinney said. "You are just totally away from it. It helps veteran's with stress, because all your thinking about is the guitar and playing."

Second String Music Owner Rodney Hart who volunteers for the Six String Heroes program, says he's seen the program have big impacts.

"We've literally seen it save peoples lives," Hart said. "We had one case where we had a gentleman come in who wasn't doing very well. I'm firmly convinced that we got him into the program right away and it helped get him straightened out and helped him get back on track. Had we not intervened, I'm a little bit scared to think about what might have happened to the young man."

Pins for Patriots fundraiser will also donate money to the Illinois Veteran's Home in Quincy.  Rick Gengenbacher with the Illinois Veterans Home says donations like this allow staff to provide entertainment to its veteran residents.  He says fun activities and entertainment help the veterans feel more at home.

"Of our over 400 residents who live here, not all of them are from Quincy and Adams County," Gengenbacher said. "A great deal of them are from throughout the state of Illinois. So therefore having these types of activities and events on our grounds here truly make it a home here and not just a retirement facility."

Sunday's Pins for Patriots bowling fundraiser is at the Tangerine Bowl in Quincy. The sign in starts at noon and bowling starts at 1 p.m.  Event sign up is available on the event Facebook page.  Sign up by heading here.
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