Military family fundraiser set for Central Point

The folks who will be holding empty military boots in downtown Central Point on Saturday won't be there to change their socks.

They will be part of a nationwide fundraiser called "Boots on the Ground for Change" to help military veterans and their families who are staying at nonprofit Fisher Houses around the country while receiving medical services.

The local event, featuring veterans from every service, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the intersection of Freeman Road and East Pine Street in Central Point. The benefit has been organized by local Navy veterans Russ Schweikert and Terry Haines.

"We are going to have boots — literally boots — at each of the corners designated for Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard," Schweikert explained in an email. "We'll be having a competition to determine which service can accrue the most in donations."

Any coins or cash would be appreciated to help veterans at Fisher Houses, he indicated.

"Because members of the military and their families ... must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates 'comfort homes,' built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers," the organization's website explains. "These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times — during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury."

There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center. Although the Veterans Administration and military branches pay the lion's share of medical costs for service members, some visiting family members accrue costs, which the fundraisers will help to offset, he noted.

For more information on Fisher Houses, see

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