The Hinesville Military Affairs Committee held its final meeting prior to the second annual Veterans Salute at Bryant Commons at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Monday night’s meeting was delayed until after committee members turned in money from the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets. Tickets will continue to be sold until the day of the event, with money from ticket sales turned in again early Friday afternoon.
“We have our big event coming up this weekend,” HMAC Chairman and City Councilman David Anderson said. “I pray everything goes well. We’re still learning how to do this. Maybe next year we’ll be able to jump in there and get started right away.”
The first agenda items were reports from the various subcommittees for the event. The first reports were from communication, press and publicity. Bruce Muncher said he had set up talk show interviews on Tuesday with WTOC for Melinda Schneider and George Holtzman. He said Schneider would mostly talk about the Veterans Salute. Holtzman would talk about the purpose of the Salute, which is to raise money for Veterans Memorial Walk at Bryant Commons.
Muncher also made a recommendation to cooperate and coordinate with local government and nonprofit organizations to better inform the public about upcoming events. He suggested creating one online community calendar that lists all upcoming events in the community.
“We need one website where all local events are listed instead of multiple, separate sites and calendars,” Muncher said. “We should also take part in quarterly meetings with other city, county and nonprofit organizations like the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority and the chamber of commerce so events don’t conflict. We’d only better ourselves as a community.”
Ron Collins reported that many people he has talked with about Veterans Salute still do not know where Bryant Commons is located. Jeff Ashmen said he tells people it’s on U.S. 84/Oglethorpe Highway between Checkers on General Screven Way and McDonald's on M.L. King Jr. Drive. Melinda Schneider noted that the city’s GIS department had created a map specifically to direct the community to Bryant Commons.
P.J. Schneider reported that he had purchased 300 more raffle tickets but said there were still 431 tickets that still were out there. He said by his calculation of the number of 50/50 raffle tickets still out there, more than $4,000 in tickets had been sold.
Faye Morris reported that several items have been donated for the silent auction, and Holtzman reported that several large donations had been made to the Veterans Memorial Walk. Karen Bell said that a caterer would provide lunch for the Youth ChalleNGe cadets helping with the event as well as the 3rd ID Band and color guard. She also said Ronald McDonald would be at the event between 10 a.m. and noon.
In other business, Holtzman said it was important for all HMAC members especially to be there for the community listening session at city hall Nov. 17. He said it will be an opportunity for the community to show their support for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and let the Army know they don’t want to see any troop cuts.
“It’s important that everybody attend that meeting,” Holtzman said. “We want a standing-room-only audience so that any TV cameras there will show a room filled with concerned citizens.”
Melinda Schneider presented information about another group, the Marne Community Spouses’ Club, which is holding a Lowcountry shrimp boil Nov. 1 in Richmond Hill. She said that event is intended to raise money for the Stewart-Hunter community and that supporting them would let the community know a little more about their own organization.
Holtzman noted HMAC’s bylaws state its purpose is to help the troops and their families, that supporting another organization’s efforts to do that was indirectly fulfilling their own mission. With that said, a hat was passed around and $75 collected to help the Marne Community Spouses’ Club.