Work Vessels for Vets Volunteers had a BUSY September

Ending Third Quarter with Successful Fund-raising, New Connections and Top-Ratings – All to Help Veterans Succeed!

Golf WVFV volunteersThe volunteers of Work Vessels for Vets packed in a ton of activity to end the third quarter with a flurry of fund-raisers, grant awards, new partnerships and the highest national ratings.

“The month of September was crazy!” said Executive Director Cathy Cook.  “After sitting on idle for many months due to COVID restrictions, we raised almost $60,000 in one month! And we forged strong partnerships while attending FARM AID with Michael O’Gorman, founder of Farmer Veteran Coalition.”

Dominion Energy Foundation kicked off the month by presenting a grant of $20,000 to be used for equipment awards for veterans in CT, RI, VA, NC, & SC.   Skydive for Veterans of CT and MA held their annual Jump for Vets with dozens of skydivers who each pledged at least $500 so they could jump out of perfectly good airplanes on September 11th.  Proceeds from this event is shared by Work Vessels for Vets and to a veteran nonprofit that deals with homelessness in CT.

We launched our 2nd Annual Online Auction, featuring many items crafted by our veterans.  We are still tabulating the proceeds, but so far it was $6000! 

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PATRIOT STAR BUSINESS AWARDS 2021

The PATRIOT STAR BUSINESS AWARD was established to recognize veterans whose new businesses turned the corner to profitability after receiving essential equipment from Work Vessels for Veterans.  In April 2021, WVFV Executive Director Cathy Cook personally visited several veteran businesses around the country to make the awards.

  2021 CARTER and Cathy Award 2

Army veteran Joyce Carter opened her hair restoration salon in February 2020 with $2000 in specialized therapeutic equipment from Work Vessels for Vets.  Just two weeks later, she had to close due to the pandemic.  Left with all the start up bills, and no income, Joyce was afraid her dream would never come true.  But with courage and perseverance, she got through a year of COVID, and reopened in April 2021.   During her visit, Joyce reported that now she has clients who travel over 2 hours for her effective hair restoration therapy.  CONGRATULATIONS!

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Work Vessels for Vets Dedicates Tractor for Injured Army Veteran Saturday May 15th (Armed Forces Day) at Radical Roots Farm, Sterling, CT

Tractor 0535STERLING, CT.   On a glorious Armed Forces Day 2021, Work Vessels for Vets held a Tractor Dedication Ceremony to present a John Deere 89mp tractor to Army SPC Ryan Salvas, injured in Afghanistan during his tour in 2010-2011.  Salvas will use the tractor for his Radical Roots Farms in Sterling, CT where he raises heritage breeds of cattle (like the Scottish Highland pictured), pigs, sheep and fowl.  He is dedicated to paying it forward by establishing a nonprofit called ContemPLATE to help fellow veterans with PTSD, TBI and other injuries find the peace he finds through agritherapy. Scottish Highland fella

Congressman Joe Courtney, CT-2 spoke at the ceremony along with Commanders of the Canterbury, CT and Lyme/Old Lyme, CT VFWs who contributed to the purchase, to honor Salvas and the veteran-serving organizations and donors who made this award possible.  Army SPC Ryan Salvas is not letting his 90% medical disability rating stop him from pursuing his dream of raising heirloom breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens on his eastern Connecticut acreage.  With help from local VFWs in Lyme/Old Lyme and Canterbury, Work Vessels for Vets purchased the big tractor outfitted for the tasks, reducing the aggravation of his combat injuries.            

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Work Vessels for Vets Awards $60,000 in 2021 Q1 to 15 Injured Veterans

2021 LAKE tractor presentationMYSTIC, CT.   Work Vessels for Vets announces $60,000 in equipment awards in the first quarter of 2021.  to 14 injured veterans and one veteran-serving nonprofit..  Work Vessels for Vets is a Mystic, Connecticut-based national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business.  Since 2008 this award-winning, volunteer-run charity has provided 2200 veteran-entrepreneurs in all 50 states with equipment valued at more than $3.4 million.

"Just in time for Spring planting, Work Vessels for Vets assembled funds to send two tractors to deserving heroes, a much needed mower to a nonprofit and laptops for the Spring semester at school for those vets completing their education,” said John Niekrash, President and co-founder of the charity.

US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jeremy Lake served 5 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, surviving two IED bombings that resulted in spinal and TBI injuries.  He medically retired with two Purple Hearts to the family farm in Pennsylvania where his family is restoring the grandfather’s large fruit orchards and planting 700 blueberry and raspberry bushes.  Work Vessels for Vets was able to assemble donors to purchase a large tractor, adapted to accommodate his injuries to help with the Spring planting. 

Mulefoot HogsArmy Corporal Ryan Salvas (here with his Mulefoot pigs)  is not letting his 90% medical disability rating stop him from pursuing his dream of raising heirloom breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens on his eastern Connecticut acreage.  With help from local VFWs in Lyme/Old Lyme and Canterbury, Work Vessels for Vets purchased the big tractor outfitted for the tasks, reducing the aggravation of his combat injuries.

In addition, a nonprofit equine therapy program for veterans in PA received a commercial mower and 14 veterans across the country received refurbished laptops for school, including a high end laptop valued at $1900 sent to an injured Army Special Forces veteran enrolled in medical studies at George Washington University,  The laptop was donated by a Mystic, CT widow of a local executive in honor of her husband’s military service. 

                                                                                                

Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT Brews Workin’ Vets NEIPA

Outer Light Ale Promo 640 x 480Donation benefits Work Vessels for Vets programs for injured veterans

Work Vessels for Vets received a tasty gift – a check for $1907 to use toward their goal to buy a tractor for an injured veteran in Canterbury, CT.   The unique formula “Workin’ Vets IPA Ale” was brewed for a limited time by Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT and sold to restaurants and package stores in the region. 

The presentation of $1907 represents a portion of sales of “Workin’ Vets Ale” served since Veterans Day in the Outer Light taproom at Bridge Street in Groton, draft sales at Friar Tuck’s tavern in Mystic and a percentage of each case sold by Levine Distributing Company of Norwich to Connecticut package stores.  Work Vessels for Vets, Inc is a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business.

“Watching how a community can come together and make a difference in the lives of an injured serviceman is why we started WVFV in 2008.  We are grateful to Outer Light Brewing Company as well as Friar Tuck’s in Mystic and Levine Distributing for collaboration,” said John Niekrash, who co-founded the charity with the gift of his commercial fishing vessel to an injured Marine.

Tom Drejer, Owner of OLBC (http://www.outerlightbrewing.com/) noted, “Our community and our veterans are extremely important to us. We are beyond proud to take this opportunity to collaborate with Work Vessels for Vets and support our injured service men and women.  We hope this donation will help bring attention to both our veterans and all the wonderful work this charity does to support them.”

 

Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT Brews Workin’ Vets NEIPA

Sales to benefit Work Vessels for Vets programs for injured veterans

Workin Vets can 600 x 450Who’s thirsty? Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT announced the release of a new beer with a cause – Workin’ Vets New England IPA.  This double dry hopped, Simcoe, Mosaic New England IPA, coming in at 5.8% is brewed in collaboration with Mystic, CT based non-profit Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. A portion of sales of every pint served in the Outer Light taproom at Bridge Street in Groton, and all other can sales throughout Connecticut liquor stores will be donated to Work Vessels for Vets, Inc a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business.  

This unique beer will also be available on draft for special events at donating partners The Captain Daniel Packer Inne and Friar Tucks Tavern in downtown Mystic, CT. Levine Distributing Company of Norwich, CT will be selling and delivering the beer as well as donating a portion of their sales to the cause.

“Watching how a community can come together and make a difference in the lives of an injured serviceman is why we started WVFV in 2008. Outer Light Brewing Company as well as the local restaurants and Levine Distributing are going above and beyond with this beer collaboration. I can’t wait to enjoy a cold one!” said John Niekrash, who co-founded the charity with the gift of his commercial fishing vessel to an injured Marine.

Tom Drejer, Owner of OLBC (http://www.outerlightbrewing.com/) noted, “Our community and our veterans are extremely important to us. We are beyond proud to take this opportunity to collaborate with Work Vessels for Vets and support our injured service men and women.  We hope this beer can help bring attention to both our veterans and all the wonderful work this charity does to support them.”

The nationally accredited Mystic, Connecticut-based nonprofit, Work Vessels for Vets (www.WVFV.org), will use the funds to equip America’s veterans with the tools they need to make a successful transition from service-connected injuries to civilian entrepreneurship.  Since its founding in 2008, the volunteers at Work Vessels for Vets, Inc awarded equipment to more than 2200 injured veterans in all 50 states.  To date, the value of these “hands up” has exceeded $3.2 million! 

Enjoy a pint or can of Workin’ Vets NEIPA  until they run out!

Work Vessels for Vets Awards $200,000 in 2020 to Injured Veterans

All Across America, 30 New Veteran Businesses & Veteran-Serving Nonprofits Received Equipment in 2020

MYSTIC, CT.   Work Vessels for Vets is proud to announce that thirty injured veteran-owned businesses and veteran-serving nonprofits in across America have received $200,000 in equipment, support and emergency funds in 2020. Work Vessels for Vets is a Mystic, Connecticut-based national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business. Since 2008 this volunteer-run charity has awarded more than $3.2 million in equipment to 2200 veteran-entrepreneurs across America.

“On this Veterans Day 2020, we thank America’s veterans for their service. And Work Vessels for Vets is also grateful for the hundreds of donors who helped us offer a “hand up” to send much needed equipment and support to a record number of veteran-entrepreneurs and veteran-serving nonprofits this year,” said John Niekrash, President and co-founder of the charity.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone.,” noted Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Vets. “Small businesses everywhere are facing extreme and unprecedented income interruptions, loss of business contracts and the pain of letting new hires go. Many start-ups do not qualify for federal financial aid programs. These hardships are more acute for injured veteran businesses whose owners are also facing personal challenges coping with disabilities, compromised health conditions, and living with PTSD.”

Work Vessels for Vets saw the need to offer a “hand up” once again. And donors stepped up to make it happen.

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ENTERPRISE BUILDERS, INC. RECEIVES VETERANS HONOR

2020 Golf Patriot Star presented to EBI

National Charity Work Vessels for Vets, Inc Presents “Patriot Star” Award To Enterprise Builders for Service to Injured Veterans 

NEWINGTON, CT   Sometimes, golf makes you cry.  That happened at Lake of Isles Golf Center during the 9th Annual Enterprise Builders Charity Golf Tournament.  Keith Czarnecki, CEO and Vin McCurry, CFO of Enterprise Builders fought back a tear or two, not for their golf scores, but when John Niekrash and Cathy Cook of Work Vessels for Vets presented the organization’s cherished PATRIOT STAR AWARD to honor Enterprise Builders Inc for their years of dedication and deep commitment to veterans.

For nearly a decade, the Enterprise Builders Charity Golf tournament has dedicated all proceeds to support veteran causes, totaling more than $300,000 over the years.  This year’s event raised $50,000 for Work Vessels for Vets, Inc a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business

 

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