The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

 
 

Iron Vietnam veterans' chapter continues fund-raising efforts

 

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

JACK HUOTARI, left, of Ironwood, fills his plate at the Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley Saturday during the 24th annual steak feed sponsored by the Iron County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans. McKenzie Osterman, at right, is one of about two-dozen volunteers who helped out.

HURLEY - "It has been growing every year," former Iron County, Wis ., Veterans Services Officer Bob Morzenti said of Saturday's 24th annual steak feed at the Memorial Building in Hurley.

Iron County Chapter 529 of the Vietnam Veterans of America expected to serve about 450 people before the event concluded on a sunny, but cold Saturday, compared to around 430 last year.

It's an annual fund-raiser that was initiated by Morzenti, who is one of about two-dozen volunteers who make the dinner a success each year.

"Bob has been here since Day One," said chapter treasurer Arvid Sivula.

Dick Dalpiaz, president of the local chapter, said the proceeds from the feed go to student scholarships in Mercer, Hurley and Ironwood.

The Vietnam veterans also donate to the annual Santa's Helpers toy drive in Ironwood in December.

Dalpiaz said there are from 60 to 70 members of the group, which meets once a month.

The number has been dwindling and the veterans attended a Saturday funeral in Winchester, Wis ., for a fellow Vietnam veteran.

The spring steak feed is a warm-up for the group's really big gig, a feed in Mercer in August that serves up to 1,200 people during the motorcycle rally there.

Dalpiaz said the veterans also donate to funerals and generally assist people who are in need.

The chapter donated $3,000 for a stove for the renovated Memorial Building, he added.

Saturday's event was highlighted by an 8:30 p.m. appearance by Marty's Goldenaires marching band, revving up the crowd with patriotic tunes.