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Appreciation dinner honors volunteers, vets

Vietnam veteran Charlie Poulton speaks after he was recognized for his work serving veterans in hospice and nursing home care at Lakewood Health System in Staples. Submitted photo1 / 2
Vietnam veteran Charlie Poulton speaks after he was recognized for his work serving veterans in hospice and nursing home care at Lakewood Health System in Staples. Submitted photo2 / 2

STAPLES—An appreciation dinner recognized volunteers who assisted with a fundraising project to help the Staples Veterans Park.

The event took place Oct. 26 at the Timbers Event Center in Staples and was sponsored by Lakewood Health, The Timbers and the Staples World.

The community came together with over 100 people and businesses contributing to a project to move, remodel and sell a Staples home. The project took more than 2,400 hours of volunteer work. The proceeds from the sale of the house this summer allowed the Staples All Veterans & Community Park Association to complete projects honoring veterans, a news release stated.

Also honored that night were 10 veterans who participated in the Veterans Video Project. These veterans were videotaped at the National Joint Powers Alliance studio in the past year, each telling stories of their military experiences. Central Lakes College assisted with the editing.

Clips of each veteran video were shown to remind those in attendance of their sacrifices while serving in defense of the country, the release stated.

Veterans included Florian Schmidt, World War II; Charles Gilleland, WWII; Frank Jares, WWII; Allen Evans, Vietnam War; Eldon Morey, Vietnam; Jack Wilson, Vietnam; Huck Holst, Vietnam; Allan Marshall, Vietnam; Jim Vollegraaf, Vietnam; and Charlie Poulton, Vietnam. Each veteran received a DVD copy of their video.

Lakewood Health System honored retired CW5 Warrant Officer Charlie Poulton for his passion and commitment to serving veterans, especially those in hospice and the Care Center. Poulton spoke about his experiences.