Centre County gears up for ‘Salute to Our Veterans’
BELLEFONTE — Centre County does a lot for its veterans. At Tuesday’s Centre County Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the commissioners heard about “A Salute to Our Veterans.”
Janette Moore and Ron Baker of Bald Eagle Valley Community United Methodist Church spoke to the commissioners about the event, which is scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the church, 111 Runville Road.
“Basically, the event was planned to give our veterans and their families a space to learn about the various resources — both private and public — that are available to them,” said Baker, the church’s pastor. “We have lot of events for families, so children can be in a bounce house, get face painting, play various games while the veterans can interact with other veterans, perhaps survivors and gold star families.”
In addition to the bounce house and face painting, the event will feature hot dogs, sloppy joes and pulled pork. There will be another big feature, however.
“We’re having a hot air balloon that’s going to be tethered,” Moore said. “We’re praying for good weather because that’s the main draw for our event. It’s been shared widely across the county.”
Moore said that she expects approximately 400 people to attend.
Among the groups expected to attend the event: Centre County Veterans Affairs, Veterans Multi-Service Center, Krislund Camp, U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club, Watermarke Church, Blair County Veterans Affairs, Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Housing Transitions, Eagle Valley Personal Care Home, Centre County Office of Aging, RSVP and Boy Scout Troop 45.
Everything is free of charge.
“We had been praying as a church about what ministries God might be leading us to,” Baker said. “One day, Janette came into my office and said, ‘I’m feeling pulled to work with veterans,'” Baker said.
Moore’s father was a World War II veteran and she came from a military family.
“That was on my heart and I wanted to help the local veterans,” Moore said.
One day, while working out at Planet Fitness in State College, Moore struck up a conversation with a woman on the treadmill beside her who had lost her husband in Afghanistan. She explained that there was no local event for military families to meet up.
Moore decided to change all that.
“We really wanted to open our facility to our community,” she said.
The church is located just behind the Sheetz near Bald Eagle Area High School.
Commissioner Mark Higgins thanked the church for their efforts.
“Thank you very much for sponsoring it and working with our gold star families,” he said. “We appreciate the effort.”
On Sunday, Sept. 29, the church will hold a special church service for vets beginning at 11 a.m. The service will be followed by a luncheon.