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VFW dinners this Friday, Saturday to benefit vets, families of cops

Delectable aromas of oven-fried chicken and Italian spaghetti sauce will be wafting from the kitchen of the Sunnyside VFW post home this coming Friday and Saturday.

All local residents are invited to partake of the two family-style meals.

Saturday's spaghetti dinner fundraiser, at a cost of just $5 per person, has been arranged by local military veterans so that all proceeds netted that night will benefit the families of fallen police officers who have lost their lives or been injured in the line of duty.

"When there is a loss in the law enforcement family we often have a moment of reflection and a time for remembrance," said Kristy Johnson, a spokesman for Sunnyside VFW Post 3482.

"Not only do we as a law enforcement family lose our brothers or sisters, we need to recognize those who have lost a loved one...spouses and siblings, parents and children, friends and colleagues," Johnson said in explaining why funds are being raised this Saturday towards that end.

"An officer's family always pays the premium for freedom, justice and the rule of law, even at the greatest cost," Johnson added.

Johnson went on to explain that in 2009, across the nation, it was a particularly perilous year for police officers involved in gun disputes.

"The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gun fire has increased by 24 percent from 2008," said Johnson. She said each year there are approximately 16,000 assaults on law enforcement officers, resulting in nearly 60,000 injuries. An average of 160 officers a year are killed, she noted.

To aid the families of those fallen officers, the Sunnyside VFW is hoping for a large turnout of community residents at Saturday's spaghetti feed.

The Jan. 9 dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Families that plan to attend are asked to call 837-3482 to make a reservation, although walk-in diners will be accommodated.

The Sunnyside VFW post home, located at 615 North Ave., is also serving an oven-fried chicken dinner this Friday, Jan. 8.

"Chicken with all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, salad and drinks," said VFW Commander Bill Ingram.

Open to the public, Friday's dinner will be served at a cost of just $6 a person. Proceeds netted at Friday's 5:30 to 8 p.m. oven-fried chicken dinner fundraiser will be used to benefit veteran programs.

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