By Bob Balgemann
BELVIDERE – The Boone County Veterans Commission (VAC) is achieving its mission of assisting those who served, in their time of need.
That was evident in the report given to the county board at its March 16 meeting.
In addition to its primary purpose, the organization is reaching out to more women who served in the military. That was a goal of Bob Ryder when he became superintendent of the office last year.
Women veterans were honored during an open house held March 23 at the VAC’s new office in the PNC Bank building, 130 S. State St. downtown.
Ryder’s report covered the months of December 2015 and January and February 2016.
The office saw 115 clients and had 27 walk-ins in December, both new records. Also that month, 50 Christmas baskets were delivered to veterans, along with $75 vouchers for food.
In all, financial assistance totaled $10,672, which is the second largest amount in the history of the office, which opened in 2013.
Belvidere police in December provided a $900 contribution to the VAC, along with food donations.
Financial assistance totaled $8,034 in January and $5,700 in February, when requests for help with electric and heat bills decrease due to the mild winter.
Fund-raising is important to the organization and it started the New Year with a Bowl-a-thon on Jan. 2. The fundraiser raised four times the amount of money than was hoped for with a end night total of $4,000.
Most revenue comes in the form of property tax, which voters approved in 2013 to take some of the burden off the county, which is required by law to finance operation of a VAC.
The organization outgrew its first office, at 175 Cadillac Court, and moved into four rooms at the PNC building last year.
County board member Brad Stark thanked Ryder for the report. He said it “screams professionalism and openness to me.”
Another board member, Sherry Giesecke, asked what military era was being served the most.
“By far most of them are from Vietnam,” the superintendent replied.
There are an estimated 3,400 veterans living in the county. A group of them gathers monthly at the Keen Age Center, located at 2142 Henry Lucklow Lane in Belvidere.
Ryder said he would continue to provide the board with monthly updates on the office’s activities.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.