Letter to the Editor

VA thanks festival sponsors, partners

Thursday, October 10, 2019

To the Editor:

The John J. Pershing VA Medical Center held its Second Annual Fall Festival (known formerly as the “Welcome Home”) in partnership with the Downtown Poplar Bluff Iron Horse Festival on September 28, 2019.

The event was a huge success! Three bands played live music for over 800 guests in our veterans’ area that day. Over 60 vehicles entered the car/motorcycle show and 43 awards were given out. Seven hundred fifty hotdogs and hamburgers were given to veterans and their families. Free flu shots for veterans was also a popular attraction, along with a multitude of community partners on site who provided information about programs available to veterans and non-veterans alike. Overall, it was a great event!

It was such a pleasure being in the community and partnering with the Iron Horse Festival and I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who planned, worked, supported, volunteered, and partnered with us to make this event possible.

Individuals and groups who contributed to the Fall Festival’s success include: AMVETS Post 29; Bluff Area Transit System; Bob & Barb Lewis Bluegrass Band; Colton’s Steakhouse; Disabled American Veterans; Family Counseling Center, Poplar Bluff; Fowler’s Bakery; HHC 205th MP Battalion, Missouri National Guard; Jerrica Fox and Downtown Poplar Bluff; MB Systems; Memphis Vet Center Van; Pepsi Mid-America; Poplar Bluff High School JROTC; Robert Wake and the Wake Foundation; State of Missouri Dept. of Children’s Services; State of Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services; State of Missouri Dept. of Youth Service SEARS; Swamp Whiskey; The Home Depot; Tiera; and VFW Post 6477.

I also want to thank the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center Facilities Management, Education, Outreach, and Voluntary Services teams, with special recognition to Erica Gibbs, my planning partner for this event.

Thank you all so very much for your participation and willingness to go the extra mile in reaching veterans in our area with information about benefits and services available to them, and our gratitude from the entire community for their service. I look forward to what the next year holds for us and growing the event even more.


John Cornelius

Fall Festival

Planning Lead

John J. Pershing

VA Medical Center