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Chester Garden Club sets up Veterans Giving Tree

GIVING TREE — The Veterans Giving Tree set up by the Chester Garden Club located in EJ’s Family Restaurant. -- Contributed

CHESTER — The Chester Garden Club has set up a Veterans Giving Tree.

The Christmas Tree decorated with patriotic ornaments is located in EJ’s Family Restaurant, and has approximately 80 tags on it. Each tag is dedicated to a specific veteran with their name and a gift list on it.

The tree benefits veterans housed in the West Virginia Veterans Home, which is located in Barboursville, W.Va, and houses up to 150 veterans. The veterans are welcome to stay as long as they like. Currently there are 83 staying at the facility, which focuses on preventing veteran homelessness.

This is the second year the club has set up the tree at EJ’s and the third year they’ve done the tree. Chester has set up the tree for six years and before the Garden Club took it over, the Chester VFW was responsible for the giving tree.

Michael Stephens, the recreation department director at the Veterans Home, reported Chester is the only community in West Virginia that has set up a tree benefiting the veterans in the Veterans Home.

“Thank you, and words can’t describe the appreciation the staff and residents have for what the Chester Garden Club does for us here,” said Stephans.

All of the recreation department’s events are put on through donations. Stephens spoke on behalf of the veterans saying this tree lets the veterans at the home know they are cared for during the holidays, and it helps to fill the void of not being able to celebrate with family.

People wanting to participate would remove a tag from the tree and sign it out, notifying the Garden Club that veteran is taken care of. The gifts are to be returned by Dec. 11, and the club will be delivering them on Dec. 14.

(Riedel can be contacted at jriedel@reviewonline.com)

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