Admission to the fundraiser for the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home is free, but donations will be accepted to fund support programs at the planned home.
“Boogie” organizer Grant Pirkle said he is hopeful of raising money by donations in lieu of admission and an auction conducted by Terry Posey. Sale items are still being accepted. The Southeast Tennessee Veterans Tax ID will be provided for donations.
There will be hamburgers and hot dogs along with Coca-Cola and Mayfield Dairy products along with face painting and giant inflatables for children.
Pirkle chose the barn as the location of the fundraiser because his late father, John Simmons, “loved that old barn and tractor of his.”
Simmons was an advocate for veterans. Pirkle said Simmons taught him about giving, serving and living.
“It was his dream to have a veterans home in Bradley County to serve all veterans in Southeast Tennessee,” Pirkle said.
A 27-acre site at 1940 Westland Drive was donated to the state of Tennessee by Steve Willams, Thomas Williams and Robert Wright. The next step is to gain approval by the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Division of Real Property Administration.
State Veterans Home Board member Joe Davis said Thursday at a meeting of the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce that Real Property Administration officials were impressed with the proposed site after a recent visit. The property is presently being held in trust by American Legion Post 81 until it is accepted by the state.
A 140-bed home costs about $21 million. The federal government funds 65 percent of the cost. The effort has local commitments for the local 35 percent share of the cost in the form of $3 million from an anonymous donor and $4.35 million from the city of Cleveland and Bradley County. Once completed, the facility is expected to employ about 200 people.