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Local veteran helping children, fellow veterans

Published: 12/8/2019 9:45:16 PM
Modified: 12/8/2019 9:45:14 PM

ATHOL — For the fifth year, a local veteran is stepping up to help area youngsters enjoy the magic of Christmas, and to provide much needed funds to benefit fellow veterans this holiday season.

Richard “Dick” Gagnon of Athol, a Korean War U.S. Navy veteran who served four years aboard the USS Salem, has his eye trained on the grand total of the 2019 Athol Santa Fund. Gagnon has, once again, committed to personally donating 10 percent of the final total raised for the season, to the Gardner-based Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center. He hopes that the idea of a donation to the veterans center will appeal to citizens to donate even more to the Santa Fund.

Last year the Athol Santa Fund raised $13,600 for area youngsters, and Gagnon presented a personal check in the amount of $1,360 to the outreach center.

The Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center, in its 37th year of operation, provides a variety of services to area veterans and their families to include housing, counseling, outreach and transportation services. On an annual basis they provide services to more than 1,000 veterans and families and requests continue to grow each year. As a non-profit organization, support from private citizens is critical to accomplishing their mission.

Donations may be made to: Athol Santa Fund, c/0 Athol Lions Club, P.O. Box 293, Athol, MA 01331.

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