Fundraiser collects winter attire for vets on Saturday

As Saturday, Nov. 11 marks Veterans Day, various locations statewide have stepped up to collect winter attire for veterans who live at the Connecticut Veterans Home and Hospital.

The All American Productions, a New England-based company that focuses on major event planning and execution, charity fundraisers, will collect a wide range of winter attire for veterans—like new or very gently used men’s coats, boots and new socks. Lap blankets, winter hats, gloves and scarves also will be accepted.

“Not only do we go into the VA, but we also help veterans confidentially on a one-on-one basis. We’re very proud to help people who have done so much for our country,” said

Jennifer Sequenzia, owner of All American Productions.

Sponsored by Haymond Law Firm for the third time, the 4th Annual Coats for Vets fundraiser kicked off successfully at the American Legion Post 75 in Middletown where donated coats filled a deuce truck.

When they delivered the donations to the State Veterans Home, the response from veterans was so incredible that she wanted to continue the event, said Sequenzia.

“All American Productions was founded on the mission of helping veterans,” said Sequenzia. “This is what I’m passionate about—making sure that veterans throughout Connecticut and New England have what they need.”

As time went on after the first year of the coat drive, the number of donations dwindled down. Last year, The Grunts, a military motorcycle group sponsored the drive, and contributed a majority of the donations.

“Last year, we wouldn’t have really had any donations without them,” said Sequenzia. “They really stepped up.”

This year, All American Productions decided to try something different by having satellite locations for the drive, so folks throughout Connecticut could give back. Among the locations in the area that will serve as drop-off sites include: For Goodness Sake, 273 Riverside Ave., Bristol; Amy’s Pampered Pawlor, 98 Whiting St., Plainville; and Black Sheep Art Studios, 166 South Riverside Ave., Terryville. All participating satellite locations will accept the donations during their business hours.

Donors also can drop off their items at the Pop Veterans Day Bash, which will kick off at Burton’s Café in West Haven from 12 to 5 p.m. this Saturday. This event aims to raise money for the purchase of coats for veterans as well as other needed items, said Sequenzia. Folks can participate in the event for a $20 admission fee, which will support this cause, or they can just stop and drop off a coat or other needed items.

With the additional locations, Sequenzia hopes to see more donations come in for veterans.

“It’s really becoming a bigger thing now where everybody is taking a piece of this, and making it their own,” said Sequenzia, expressing gratitude for the local organizations and businesses that are helping out this year. “Hopefully, each year we can keep adding locations to grow this.”

For more information, e-mail or visit All American Productions on Facebook.