The Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble presented a $300 check to the Bristol Veterans Council during their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Vice chair of the Veterans Council Tim Gamache explained that the funds will be split equally between the Flag Fund, the Salute Dinner Fund, and the Procession Fund.
Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble board president Greg Hahn said the musical group puts on about five concerts a year, “but the one that is closest to our heart is the Veterans Day concert.” Hahn said it is especially important to musical director, Richard Theriault, “to show our appreciation to our veterans.”
“He [Theriault] includes veterans into our concert, whether it’s the color guard or a narration, and it’s always appreciated,” said Hahn. “This year was no exception, it was a wonderful concert, and we appreciate your involvement.”
Since the Brass and Wind Ensemble does not charge an admission fee to their concerts, they collect free-will offerings, and Hahn explained that the group likes to “take a portion of the proceeds that we received on that day and write a check for the Veterans Council in appreciation for everything that you’ve done for us.”
Gamache said the ensemble “not only performs an extraordinary concert honoring our veterans on the holiday, but donates a sizeable check each year from contributions made by those attending the concert,” and that the BVC “wouldn’t be able to run those programs without the continued support of organizations like the Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble, and the generous citizens of our great city.”
This year, Veterans Day will fall on Monday, Nov. 11. The Bristol Brass and Wind Ensemble has yet to release the concert location.
Gamache said while the Veterans Council tries to hold their ceremonies on Veterans Day, they will sometimes plan an event for the weekend before. Both groups will finalize their intended plans as they move closer to the date.
One of the long-time initiatives of the Bristol Veterans Council is to place American flags at the gravesites of all Bristol veterans. The council places approximately 6,000 flags throughout the St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Peacedale Cemetery, West Cemetery, Forestville Cemetery, St. Thomas Cemetery, the cemeteries on Downs Street, and Lewis Street, and the cemeteries along Lake Avenuue, each year.
In Oct. 2018, the BVC announced their efforts to raise at least $18,000 by the end of Feb. 2019, in order to purchase a three year supply of flags. At the Feb., meeting BVC treasurer, Stanley Piotrowski, reported that there is $18,832.48, but said that the account was about $500 short of allowing them to purchase a three year supply.
Donations can be mailed to the Bristol Veterans Council, P.O. Box 2634, Bristol, CT 06011-2634. They can also be brought to the Veteran Strong Community Center, located on the first floor of City Hall, 111 N Main St.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.