Motorcycle group donates to veterans home

The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 35-1 donates $7,500 to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette on Saturday. Standing from left are Kim Larson, Jacobetti activity and therapy aide; Shari Smith, activity manager at Jacobetti; Jacobetti member Curtis W. Richards; and CVMA Commander Joe Kerekes. Seated is Jacobetti member Stephen P. Winquist. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — It was a matter of vets helping vets.

The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 35-1, based in Menominee, on Saturday donated $7,500 to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.

Shari Smith, Jacobetti activity manager, said the money will benefit Jacobetti members.

“They donate it for activities,” Smith said of the CVMA donation. “We do pizza parties, any music, just about any activity. We take them on several outings. With COVID, things are restricted, so we actually have to bring on double the activities in a different way.

“So, purchasing equipment to do that costs money, and this maintains that activity fund. It’s life enrichment, actually.”

According to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the D.J. Jacobetti Ride has raised $48,000 since 2014. CVMA consists of combat veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who ride motorcycles as a hobby. Its mission is to support and protect people who have defended the country and to help individual veterans, veteran care facilities, other veteran organizations and registered charities.

Michigan Veteran Homes operates the state’s veteran homes on behalf of the Michigan Veterans Facility Authority and is a branch of the DMVA. MVH operates the Jacobetti facility in Marquette as well as the veteran homes in Grand Rapids and Chesterfield Township.

“Our major theme, if you want to call it, is ‘Vets Helping Vets,’ and Jacobetti here is our major organization,” CVMA Commander Joe Kerekes said.

He said the organization goes on rides and takes donations from the public to earn the money.

“We do this every August, and plan to do it as long as we can,” Kerekes said.


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