June 21, 2012

Mental Health America presents Swingin’ Salute To Our Veterans

Event a benefit to support services for returning military, veterans, families

Mental Health America is holding its fundraiser, Swingin’ Salute To Our Veterans, to benefit services supporting returning military personnel, veterans, and their families in the Antelope Valley.

The 1940s USO-style event starts at 6 p.m., June 29 at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale, Calif.

Dennis Anderson, editor of the Antelope Valley Press, will emcee the benefit event featuring local popular entertainment acts – The Boogie Woogie Mamas and big band music by The Del Aires. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing, and a silent auction are part of the evening’s festivities. Guests are encouraged to dress in 1940s attire.

“This is the first time MHA is focusing a benefit event on returning members of the military and veterans because we want to address the increased frequency of those who are homeless or, are at risk of becoming homeless in the Antelope Valley,” said Judy Cooperberg, MHA executive director.

According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 18 percent of those who are homeless in Los Angeles County in 2011 are veterans, a three percent increase since 2009. The Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs estimate that nearly 76,000 veterans were homeless on a given night in 2009, and around 136,000 veterans spent at least one night in a shelter during that year. According to the report, veterans are 50 percent more likely to fall into homelessness, compared to the rest of the population.

“MHA founded the Operation Healthy Homecoming program at our Military Resource Center to assist veterans with permanent housing and provide other support such as employment services and connection to government resources,” said Cooperberg.

To date, MHA has served 65 veteran families (which comprises of 119 individuals), with 54 families placed in permanent housing and 17 individuals in stable employment. “We are definitely making strides to support the men and women who served our country but we need funds to continue to provide emergency housing and close the time gap for veterans who are waiting for permanent housing.”

Sponsorships for the fundraiser are still available at $5,000, $2,500, $1,000 and $500 levels and include tickets, program ad, signage on event banner and acknowledgment at the event depending on the level.

For more information on sponsorship, contact Cooperberg at or call (661) 579-8352.

Highlights of the silent auction include: a USA flag flown over Kabul, Afghanistan by the U.S. Marines on July 4 and Sept. 11, 2011; a Doug Oliver signed print; a weekend getaway to Las Vegas that includes two rounds of golf at Green Valley Country Club; and gift certificates to local restaurants, hotels and golf courses.

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