Elks donate funds for equipment at Jacobetti vets’ home

The Michigan Elks Association on Tuesday presents an $11,420 check to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans for exercise equipment and activity stations. From left are Linda Smith, executive secretary with the home; Samantha Knuttila, the home’s director of restorative services; Cary Lincoln, the home’s director of nursing; Bob Wellman, the MEA’s Veterans Administration voluntary service representative for the home; Robert Anttila, Upper Peninsula district state trustee for the MEA; Dave Sladek, first vice president with the MEA and a member of Copper Country Lodge 404; Ron Oja, the home’s administrator; and Sarah Johnson, the home’s volunteer coordinator. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — The D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette is the recipient of an $11,420 donation from the Michigan Elks Association. The funds will be used for exercise equipment and activity stations.

Bob Wellman, the Michigan Elks Association Veterans Administration voluntary services representative for the home and a member of Marquette Elks Lodge 405, worked with Jacobetti staff to determine high-priority needs for items that would directly benefit the veterans who live at Jacobetti.

“It’s a sizable grant,” Wellman said. “We’re happy to do it.”

The donation will allow the home to purchase a NuStep exercise machine, which will expand physical therapy services, and install new interactive stations for the memory care unit, according to Michigan Veteran Homes. The unit is expected to enhance therapy, officials said.

Wellman said the stations will give the veterans a chance to participate in other activities, such as performing handiwork around the house — what he called the “Monday is wash day” activity.

“One of our slogans is, ‘As long as there are veterans, the Elks will never forget them,’ and being the representative here to the home, it’s my job to see that our members here are basically taken care of through the Elks (and) our programs,” Wellman said.

In fact, he noted that the Elks supply recreational items to the home throughout the year. For instance, cookies were supplied for Monday’s “Rosie the Riveter Day.”

Robert Anttila, Upper Peninsula district state trustee for the Michigan Elks Association and a member of Ishpeming Lodge 447, said the Elks’ exercise project for Jacobetti included special funding involving two organizations.

“We are able to fund it through our Elks National Foundation project through the Michigan Elks Association,” Anttila said.

Acknowledging that it’s important for veterans to stay active, the MEF, he said, likes to help veterans — and help its lodges help veterans.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Michigan Elks Association as these funds will lead to enhanced therapeutic services and improve the quality of life for our members,” said Sarah Johnson, volunteer coordinator for the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, in a statement.

To make a contribution to benefit Jacobetti’s members and life enrichment programs, visit www.michigan.gov/mvh/support.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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