AUBURN, Mass. – Auburn has always made it a priority to support veterans, and residents continued that tradition by helping out veterans in a big way.
Resident Laurie Lanciault hosted a tag sale at Heritage Plaza on Nov. 17, raising $1,223 for the Wounded Warrior Project, which makes it easier for veterans to transition to civilian life when they return home.
“We had a very successful event to raise funds and awareness for the project, and it was very well received,” Lanciault said. “It was really heartwarming. I wasn’t expecting such an amazing turnout.
“Heritage Plaza was just full of people,” she said. “They all were saying they want to do this again, and we’re definitely hoping for an even bigger event in May or June.”
Lanciault, with the help of her family, sold games, toys, sporting goods, home décor, electronics, XBOX games, movies and a karaoke machine, among several other items. Her father, Ernie Johnson, collects military vehicles, and he parked a 1941 ambulance from World War II out front.
“The veterans were all drawn to that,” Lanciault said. “I was talking to some of them who were saying how they remember riding in them. It was great to hear those stories.”
She said her parents are “huge philanthropists” who wanted to get involved in the Wounded Warrior Project because nearly 100 percent of the donations are used for rehabilitation programs and services for wounded soldiers.
“That’s the type of program they’re looking for. Not something where only 50 percent goes to the people who need it,” Lanciault said. “When they find a charitable organization that they believe in, that’s all you’ll hear about.
“It’s such a great cause, and we thank everyone for helping out."
The Wounded Warrior Project’s goal is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. We raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, help injured service members aid and assist each other, and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.”
To donate, visit the Wounded Warrior Project’s website.