Center wins $25K in national contest

By William K. Alcorn


John Brown, former national commander for AMVETS, was jumping up and down when he learned AMVETS Post 44 Career Center won Home Depot’s September “Aprons in Action” Facebook contest and a $25,000 Home Depot gift card.

“We were pretty excited,” said Brown’s wife, Jan, commander of AMVETS Post 44.

She thanked everybody who voted for Post 44, enabling the career center for veterans to win a very close national contest by just 48 votes over another veterans- focused organization, Heroes Night Out in Cedar Park, Texas.

The final vote totals when the contest ended at 11:59 p.m. Sunday were: AMVETS Post 44 Career Center, 36,240; Heroes Night Out, 36,192; Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, Indianapolis, 2,995; and U.S. VETS Barbers Point, Kapolei, Hawaii, 2,656.

In addition to the $25,000 gift card, winning the September contest made AMVETS Post 44 eligible to win $250,000 in cash when it goes up against other monthly winners early in 2013.

The next step, according to a Home Depot spokesman, is for representatives of Home Depot and Post 44 to arrange a time to present the gift card and other prizes and learn in detail what Post 44 plans to do with its winnings.

The money will stay in the community to enlarge and improve the Career Center, 305 Elm St., Struthers, add energy-efficient windows and make various other updates to make it a better and more comfortable place for veterans, said John Brown, a retired Air Force senior master sergeant.

The AMVETS Career Center provides services such as computer skills and career coaching for veterans, active-duty service members, National Guard and reservists who have served honorably or currently are serving.

“This is unbelievable, especially for the younger veterans,” said Dale Pulliun of Poland Township, a lifetime Post 44 member and volunteer at the post.

It will help them get started, especially with all the new jobs coming to the Mahoning Valley, Pulliun said.

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