Local businesses team up to help veterans in need

Pictured, from left to right, Lance Gilman, president & CEO – IGT Retirement Solutions, Sharon Leighton, winner of the fundraiser vacation package, Penny Morris, owner of Penny’s Barbershop, in Augusta, Judi Gilman, owner of Sunset Pine Cottages, in China.
Contributed photo

For the past three years Penny’s Barbershop in Augusta has sponsored initiatives to help veterans in need. In those three years, Penny and her team have raised nearly $10,000 to help veterans. This year her goal is to raise at least $3,500. All of the money she raises goes either directly to veterans or to organizations that directly support veterans. The goal for this year, set at $3,500, is for a distinct purpose: $3,500 is the exact amount that is required to provide one fully-trained service dog to a veteran requiring such help or support. Both the service dog and training are fully covered for the veteran. Once an application is received, K9s On The Front Line (a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization out of Portland) will schedule the training for both the veteran selected and the service dog to complete a 16-week training program. Then the service dog will remain with the veteran after the training to help them.

This year, IGT Retirement Solutions, LLC, a retirement planning and Investment firm located in China, sponsored a one-week vacation at Sunset Pine Cottages, also on China Lake, to help in Penny’s fundraising efforts. This was one of many prizes people could buy raffle-tickets for to have a shot at the prize. Lance Gilman, President & CEO of IGT Retirement Solutions, is a veteran and was very glad to sponsor the one-week vacation at Sunset Pines to help raise money for the initiative.

This year’s winner of the vacation package was Sharon Leighton. Sharon was delighted to have won the vacation package and to support the efforts as well. “It’s been over ten years since I have had a vacation. This is great!” Sharon said. “I am also glad to have contributed to this worthy cause.”

The group has raised approximately $3,200 to date. They need about $300 more to meet their $3,500 goal, which will provide one fully-trained service dog to a veteran in need. If you would like to contribute to this noble effort, please contact Penny’s Barber Shop, located at 173 State Street, in Augusta, by calling 207-380-6224. You can also make a tax-deductible contribution by making a check payable to “K9s On The Front Line” and bringing it to Penny’s Barber Shop.

On Saturday, November 11 (Veterans Day) Penny will be offering free haircuts to any veteran. All proceeds from other haircuts completed on Veterans Day will be added to the amount donated to support this initiative.

The final proceeds for Penny’s fund raising efforts will be tallied and given to K9s On The Front Line on the Monday after Veterans day. The veteran selected to receive the service dog will be selected at that time. Please help however you can in this effort. If you are a veteran – thank you! If not, please be sure to reach out to thank one for their service to our country on Veterans Day.


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