Villagers for Veterans holding festival/5K to help fund disabled veteran’s new home

Villagers for Veterans is holding a special fundraising event Saturday at The Villages Polo Fields.

Army veteran Sgt. Pam Kelly.

The day’s festivities, which begin with a 5K event and later include a variety of entertainment, is being held to raise money for disabled veteran Pam Kelly. Villagers for Veterans is working to build Kelly a home in the Historic Section of the community and is encouraging everyone to come out and participate in the event.

“Everyone is invited to participate in our 5K ‘I Walk For Pam’ that begins with an 8 a.m. registration and starts 45 minutes later,” said Marie Bogdonoff, founder and president of Villagers for Veterans. “Even the family dog is encouraged to join in the fun.”

The Villages Twirlers and Drum Corps will perform at the Villagers for Veterans’ ‘I Walk For Pam’ event Saturday at The Villages Polo Fields.

At 10 a.m. the festival’s activities get under way. There will be a golf cart parade, lots of clowns, games and even a dunk tank. Featured performers are The Villages Twirlers and Drum Corps, singer Ralph DiNome and the musical group The CORE. And the E-Flyer Club will conduct an air show with 100 remote-control airplanes.

Several food and merchandise vendors, along with other Villages clubs, will host a variety of booths until the festival’s 2 p.m. conclusion.

The CORE will perform at the Villagers for Veterans charity event at the Polo Fields on Saturday.

The entry fee to participate in the walk is $30. All entrants will receive an event T-shirt and a participation medal. And dogs will be charged $10 and will receive a patriotic bandanna, a water bowl and a treat.

There’s a $5 admission fee at the gate for those coming to the fair but not participating in the 5K Walk.

Ralph DiNome
Local favorite Ralph DiNome will be part of the entertainment for Saturday’s Villagers for Veterans’ festival/5K at The Villages Polo Field.

“The combination Walk and Festival will be the Villagers For Veterans’ biggest initiative of the year,” Bogdonoff said, adding that the group has purchased property on Teakwood Lane for Kelly’s new home and hopes to break ground in October.

“It’s imperative that our neighbors from The Villages and surrounding communities participate and help us raise funds,” Bogdonoff added. “They will help us complete this unique humanitarian mission.”

More information and registration is available at www.villagersforveterans.org. Bogdonoff can be reached at (516) 220-5068 or by email at villagersforveterans@gmail.com.