VFW Post 5691 in Collinsville donated 34 boxes of snacks and 20 cases of bottled water just before noon to the Madison County Health Department’s vaccination site.
“We are so thankful for these items,” Health Department Director Toni Corona said. “You have no idea. We cannot purchase these kind of items with our grants. This is really an unmet need.”
Corona said the majority of the people working at the vaccination site health department employees and volunteers. She said many of them are working 10 and 12 hour days and its not been an easy job.
“We feel like (the Health Department and its volunteers) are the heroes and we just wanted to say thank you,” VFW Post Commander Alonzo “Skip” Skipper, and U.S. Navy veteran, said
Skipper said that veterans, along with post auxiliary members collected money to purchase the supplies. He said Chris Rydgig with Edward Jones of Maryville and Sam’s Club in Glen Carbon also contributed.
VFW members and navy veterans Chester Townzen and Don Digirolamo assisted in delivering the snacks along with Post Auxiliary members, President Shelly Steuart and Joe Lodes.
Skipper also presented Corona with a grommet necklace made from a retired U.S. flag.
“We are allowed to officially retire a flag by burning it,” he said. “When we are done we pull the flags’ brass grommets from the pit and polish them and make them into necklaces.”
Corona said she was honored to receive such a piece. A small card that comes with the necklace states, “this piece of flag represents all the sacrifices made for our freedom.”
Skipper gave Corona a plastic bag filled with necklaces for her to give to health department employees.
“I will wear this with pride,” Corona said. “I appreciate your service to our country and everything you’ve done for us, thank you.”