East Bank’s VetFest a big success

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Stacey Tinsley/Bossier Press-Tribune Lisa Delaney visits with a vendor during VetFest Saturday.

Stacey Tinsley | Bossier Press-Tribune

Hundreds gathered Sat Nov. 7 in Bossier’s East Bank District for a fun-filled day at VetFest 2020.

VetFest provided a one day event to connect veterans to non-profit organizations, employers, mental wellness providers, live music, food trucks, cornhole, and activities for the family.  

Member of VFW Auxiliary Post 4588, VetFest event sponsor and one of the original organizing team members of the event Lisa Delaney said, “The Auxiliary supports our veterans where we provide unwavering support. I have been a part of the original planning group from the beginning. This event has been done to support our veterans and what their needs are.”

Delaney went on to say that with the overwhelming success of the event and support from the community for veterans, VetFest will take place again.

“This started with about six individuals about 90 days ago, who sat down and said we need to do something for our veterans. This is our first ever VetFest. But it’s not going to be one and done. We’re going to do it again. Unfortunately the statistics are that on an average 22 veterans a day take their own lives. That happens in this community. In the last year I have attended three funerals of veterans who have taken their own lives. Possibly if they had the help they needed, that could have been avoided. So we’re trying to promote suicide prevention and awareness,” said Delaney.

Many local vendors were stationed throughout the event, including 5 Star Nutrition, PJs Coffee, The Wooden Spoon, Risen Rock Climbing Gym, Healing Waters Candles, and Lotto Treasures.

“Hosting VetFest in the East Bank was a huge honor for us. A place to share stories, resources, and just good ole fashioned community spirit was exactly what was needed on this week leading up to Veterans Day. This group of volunteers are very passionate about the mission of 22 Kill and it showed in every detail of this event. I left inspired and with my heart full!,” said Robin Jones, executive director of the Bossier Arts Council (BAC).

Proceeds from VetFest will be donated to the non-profit, 22Kill.