FAIRFIELD — The federal government’s partial shutdown is endangering a veterans’ gathering.
A $10,000 Department of Labor grant aimed at funding s0me of the costs of putting on this year’s North Bay Stand Down at the Dixon May Fair fairgrounds – to help provide services to needy veterans – has been trapped in Washington, D.C., due to the shutdown, according to organizers of the event.
The money was supposed to pay for items critical to the stand down such as food, clothing and items such as the portable toilets and wash stations, according to Pat Stasio, director of Operation Hand Up, the group that organizes the stand down.
It hit the organizers less than two weeks before the three-day gathering is to start Oct. 15.
Stasio said that even if the partial shutdown ends before the stand down begins, it isn’t likely that the funding will arrive in time.
The organizers vowed that this setback will not cancel the annual gathering, which opened its doors to needy veterans and their families a few years ago despite a heavy rainstorm that soaked the fairgrounds.
“If we run out of money, we will pay the bills after the fact. We will get money from somewhere. We are not going to let this little thing stop us,” Stasio said.
Organizers are still asking for donations.
Anyone interested in helping out can go to the group’s website at www.nbstanddown.org or call Stasio at 344-3743 or stand down secretary/treasurer Lynn Jewell at 365-5073. Volunteers are also still needed.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.