Military Appreciation Night at Winchester Golden Corral raises funds for DAV

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Those who served the United States had a chance to be appreciated last Thursday night.

The Winchester Golden Corral hosted its annual Military Appreciation Dinner in conjunction with chapter 12 of Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Michael Sparks, the chapter’s adjunct and treasurer, offered insight into the chapter and the restaurant’s partnership.

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“Every year for the past 22 years, Golden Corral has done a Military Appreciation Night dinner,” Sparks said. “Golden Corral is a sponsor of the national Disabled American Veterans, and so what they do is they assign a local chapter that is in proximity of the restaurant to be the cohost for those dinners.”

The chapter then reaches out to the eatery to see what kind of partnership can be formed, and so far, the Winchester Golden Corral has been an excellent partner.

“Mr. [Tom] Korb, the owner of the restaurant in Winchester, has been very kind to us in the three years or so that we have been here,” Sparks said.

During the event, veterans and their families enjoy a meal and have an opportunity to purchase different patriotic-themed items.

The restaurant is festively decorated in red, white and blue, and an annual raffle is held.

This year’s 29 donated and purchased prizes were a handmade quilt, a 50-inch television, $200 worth of carpet cleaning, free oil changes and various gift cards.

All proceeds from the raffle and merchandise sales go to support the DAV and its work.

The chapter is thankful to the community for its generosity.

“Over the years, we have been very blessed because the community has supported us,” Sparks said.

The funds raised have allowed the DAV to maintain six college scholarships, perform kind gestures for widows during the holidays, maintain a stipend for Veterans Administration (VA) care, sponsor activities at VA nursing homes and provide assistance for those veterans in need.

The DAV has been assisting veterans for over a century. It is one of the oldest veteran’s aid organizations in the United States and was founded in 1920 by Judge Robert Marx in Cincinnati.

“It was set up to look out for disabled veterans, their families and survivors because after World War I, there were a lot of folks who got hurt. But the country did not do a good job of taking care of its wounded, which is pretty much in some aspects going on today,” Sparks said.

The organization educates and assists veterans in filing claims with the VA. It also maintains a volunteer program that provides transportation for veterans to medical appointments, sponsors fundraising events for other veterans organizations, and advocates for state and national legislation to benefit veterans’ lives.

And while chapter 12 may not be specific to Clark County, it does look after it and several surrounding ones.

“Winchester does not have a Disabled American Veterans chapter. The chapter in Bourbon County, chapter 12, by the luck of the draw, has sort of adopted the surrounding counties … We try to help veterans and their families in Clark, Harrison, Nicholas and Scott counties,” Sparks said.