The Veterans Affairs of Dawson County held its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser this weekend and saw enthusiastic support from the citizens of Dawson County.
The breakfast is the group's largest fundraiser of the year, and proceeds from the breakfast, which was comprised of all-you-can-eat pancakes, a serving of bacon or sausage, and coffee or juice, will benefit the group's mission to honor veterans and military personnel from Dawson County and the surrounding area.
The group holds key events on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and POW/MIA Recognition Day.
"It was like all our weekends- we had great attendance from Dawson County residents and the volunteers had a great time serving the food," said President Don Brown on Monday.
Veterans and volunteers from the group were at the Dawson County School Board Education and Community Building early Saturday morning, frying up bacon and flipping both plain and blueberry pancakes.
Attendee Tom Quintrell sat at a table with Robert and Brenda Ivy. The group had full plates of pancakes and cups of steaming coffee at just $5 each.
"They do such a great job, we always make a point to come to this every year," Quintrell said.
The Ivys agreed.
"It's a good cause," Brenda said.
Also attending the breakfast was Veterans 3 Gun Vice President Austin Wimberly. Veterans 3 Gun is a local non-profit that was started in Dawsonville with the mission to end veteran suicides.
Wimberly said the group began in March 2016 with three members and now has 210 members in 23 states.
The group organizes teams that get together and go shooting at local gun ranges. They also have a counselor on call for the veterans to talk to.
"We do shooting competitions to build team spirit and camaraderie," Wimberly explained. "It gives the guys an outlet. We've found that veterans will talk to other veterans, whereas they won't always talk to doctors or counselors or family members."
All of the equipment that the veterans could need in order to participate in the shooting competitions is provided by the group for free.
"Companies will donate equipment, such as firearms, holsters, extra magazines," Wimberly said. "It's free for veterans to join."
With 22 veterans taking their own lives every day, Paul van Oudheusden, acting Veterans 3 Gun president, started the organization after two close friends and soldiers committed suicide within the space of six months.
Veterans 3 Gun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (706) 525-1462, and Brown can be reached at email@example.com or at (678) 779-2584.