Run Through the Jungle, a performance of Vietnam War-ear music by The WingNuts in November, raised more than $7,000 for veterans services in St. Clair County. This week, the three organizations that will distribute the funds to those in need met to celebrate the success of the effort.
“I haven’t heard a negative word about the show,” said Gerald Mortz of District 2 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). “In fact, people are saying over and over that we should have it again next year.”
Run Through the Jungle was held Nov. 10 at the Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA) in Pell City. The WingNuts, a local band of aviation enthusiasts – some veterans themselves – originally came up with the idea of playing a veterans fundraiser, and the final product was the result of months of planning by many in the community.
Largely thanks to critical donations from Team Hennessey, Franklin First Financial – Teresa Carden and The Realty Pros (Barb Turbville and Nancy Locklar), as well help from other donors and an army of volunteers, the event raised $7,018. Those funds were turned over in their entirety to Al Morrow of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 4758 on Dec. 5.
Wayne Johnson, St. Clair County Veterans Outreach Coordinator, said the funds would be used for discretionary spending for the immediate need of local veterans. His department, operated through a partnership between the St. Clair County Commission and the Alabama Extension Service, will work with Mortz and Morrow to take care of the problems that come up in the day-to-day lives of our local heroes, bypassing some of the red tape that they often experience.
“Sometimes it can take more than a month to get help if you’re a veteran – like if your water line ruptures at your home or your car breaks down when you need to get to work,” he said. “But when we’re out in community talking with our vets and we find a situation where they need something immediately, we’ll be able to help them on the spot.”
Johnson said all three organizations would work together and communicate with each other before distributing the funds raised.
Run Through The Jungle was organized by CEPA, The WingNuts and the St. Clair County Extension with help from the Robert L. Howard Veterans Home, VFW Post 4758, DAV District 2, and the Military Order of the Purple Hearts, Springville Chapter 2213.
The WingNuts are a group of aviation buffs who enjoy playing music from primarily the 1960s-80s. Three members are pilots and all enjoy playing in their home hangar at the St. Clair County Airport. Band Members are Alan Furr, Sandra Furr, Donnie Todd, Mickey Farmer, Teresa Carden, Glenn Wilson, and Bobby Breed.
For more on efforts to serve veterans in St. Clair County, visit offices.aces.edu/stclair/veterans.