Andy Cichalewski of the Shelby County Veterans Fund accepts a donation from Aaron Johnson Vice President of CoBank and Noel Bolinger of Shelbyville Community Foundation. Pictured left to right: Heidi Hall from Shelby Electric Cooperative, Johnson, Bolinger, Cichalewski, Dustin Theiss from Shelby Electric Cooperative, Rich Johnson of the Moose Lodge 1294, Mike Canada from the Shelbyville VFW Post 4829, Mike Binnion from the Possum Lodge, Rick Walker from the Shelbyville VFW Post 4829, Kenneth Vail from the Possum Lodge, Brenda Reynolds from ReMax and Ellie Newton a Veterans fund volunteer.
A combined effort of several organizations, including Shelbyville VFW, Shelbyville Moose Lodge, Shelbyville VFW Men’s Auxiliary, Shelbyville Fire Department, Opossum Lodge, and Shelby Electric Cooperative, blew fundraising efforts out of the water this past fall for the Shelby County Veterans Fund.
The Shelby County Veterans Fund is a newly established fund held by the Shelbyville VFW to sponsor Shelby County veterans on the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. Members of the above mentioned organizations came together to establish the fund.
“We never imagined how much support we would gain from the local community. It was amazing how everyone pulled together and supported this effort,” said Josh Shallenberger, CEO of Shelby Electric Cooperative.
On Saturday, August 29, the group held a drive-through cookout luncheon serving pork tenderloin and rope sausage. A bake sale was also held as well as several raffle drawings. Proceeds from the event along with several donations from local businesses raised $18,000.
Included in the total was a $5,000 matching grant applied for by Shelby Electric Cooperative through one of the cooperative’s lending agencies. These funds were offered as a one-time-match by CoBank through their “Sharing Success Program”. This annual program for CoBank, designates $3 million to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support throughout rural America. Under “Sharing Success”, CoBank matches contributions by cooperatives to the nonprofit organizations of their choice on a dollar-for-dollar basis with a maximum of $5,000.