Heritage Hospice celebrates 10 years of honoring veterans

Published 9:57 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ten years ago, Heritage Hospice, Inc. hosted their first Veterans Appreciation Day event.

Expecting around 300 veterans, they ended up serving nearly 1,000 veterans and guests that day in November. Over the past decade, Heritage Hospice, Inc. has seen exponential growth since the start of the event in 2007. On making the switch from the Veteran’s Day parade to this event 10 years ago, committee member Jack Hendricks states, “it had an extremely better turnout than I ever thought.”

Each year, Veterans Appreciation Day draws in 1,000 plus veterans. This year the celebration continues at Danville’s National Guard Armory on Friday, Nov. 10.

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Over the past ten years, the event has hosted a variety of veterans. Some 400 plus World War II veterans have been honored through the years. In addition, the event recognizes the oldest and youngest veterans present. Veterans from an assortment of backgrounds have received recognition since the event’s beginning, from veterans as young as 19 up to those that are 105. “It’s our chance to recognize and appreciate veterans,” Hendricks says. Veterans that have previously attended are welcomed back each year and first-time attenders are encouraged to experience this wonderful day of recognition. Last year’s event included 178 first-timers, while over the course of the past decade 2,000 new veterans have registered at the event.

Since its origin in 2007, Heritage Hospice, Inc.’s Veteran’s Appreciation Day celebration has proudly provided food and a strong sense of community for 10,000 veterans and guests. “This event is life-changing for the community and for Heritage Hospice, Inc. staff” says Heritage Hospice, Inc. Community/Provider Liaison and Veterans Appreciation Day Chair Sharon Martin. Without the continued support of the community and the dedicated committee, this event would not be possible.

Masonic members from across the state generously provide fresh food. Local churches bake delicious homemade desserts. Schools such as Bate Middle and Danville Christian Academy line the red carpet to cheer on veterans as they arrive. All of the various community sponsors woven throughout the area contribute so much to this wonderful event. Without this continuous support, the Veterans Appreciation Day event would not have thrived and flourished these past 10 years.

All veterans in the Boyle, Lincoln, Garrard, and Mercer county areas are welcome to attend Heritage Hospice, Inc.’s Veterans Appreciation Day event on November 10 at Danville National Guard Armory from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free of charge. Fish and barbecue dinners will be served. Complimentary shuttle service from Danville Stadium will be available. Door prizes and resource information will be available. 

For more information, call Heritage Hospice, Inc. at (859) 236- 2425.