Veterans Council Inaugural Gala Raises $15,000 for Veterans Assistance Program in Indian River County

The inaugural “Stars & Stripes Spectacular Gala” at the Grand Harbor Clubhouse on April 13 raised more than $15,000 to help Indian River County veterans in need.

veterans help veteransthe program specifically targeted for these funds, is dedicated to providing free services to qualified local veterans to perform home repair work that will improve safety, accessibility or quality of life.

More than 120 people attended the black tie event, organized by the Indian River County Veterans Council.

Ancient US Marine Sgt. Sylvester McIntosh Sr.., recipient of the Silver Star for his heroic actions in Vietnam in 1967, was the keynote speaker. Reverend McIntosh and his wife Dorothy are well-respected community volunteers in the area, and the Veterans Council was proud to have them as guests.

The presentation of the colors was led by the Sebastian Area Honor Guard.

VIDEO: Watch and learn about the Indian River County Veterans Council

Telly Antona, a US Army veteran, continued the official part of the program with the singing of the national anthem and ended the evening with an amazing rendition of “God Bless America”.

“It’s a pleasure for me to show how proud I am to be an American by sharing my voice in the best way I know how,” Antona said.

Retired Air Force Col. Marty Zickert rocked the night and entertained the audience.

“We can’t thank the community enough for their continued support of our veterans,” Zickert said. “Everyone here tonight is playing a part in serving the veterans and families of Indian River County.”

After dinner, the winners of the silent auction items were announced.

“I am grateful to the generous local businesses who generously donated items for our silent auction,” said Leydiana Collins, event organizer. “We owe a lot of people our gratitude and also want to give a special thanks to Grand Harbor for making our evening so amazing.”

Sponsors of tables to honor military service included the Exchange Club of the Treasure Coast, Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, Ruchman and Associates and SemperServe. Additionally, Dogs for Life, Elite Airways and the 2020 Vero Beach Air Show, featuring the Blue Angels, made generous donations.

“It was an extremely successful event, and we all look forward to an even bigger event next year,” Collins said.

For more information on the Indian River County Veterans Councilor if you know a local veteran in need, visit or call 772-410-5820.

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