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Veterans Bench Dedication -

Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, Bench Dedication at Ardie R. Copas Veterans Nursing Home

By: MaryAnn Ketcham

FORT PIERCE, FL: With great anticipation, a sizeable group of Veterans gathered in the breezeway of the Ardie R. Copas Veteran’s Nursing Home in Port St. Lucie just before Memorial Day.

Greeted by Will Armstead, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, the veterans and other guests would quickly learn about the organization’s mission and how the specially crafted bench that would now adorn the outside of their facility came about.

The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” An essential component of that is to create opportunities for workforce readiness.

Working in partnership with the South Florida Carpenter’s Union, eight Westside Club Members learned to safely saw, sand, build, and paint a high-quality bench.

Director of Workforce Readiness Sean Mitchell shared the organization’s commitment to professionally developing its youth in all areas, including in skilled trades. Young Club Members also learn many critical life skills in their Club journey, and thankfulness is one of them.

“At Boys & Girls Clubs, we combine our life-enriching programs with our passion for giving back to St. Lucie County so that all Club members have the opportunity to get involved in the community that supports them so much,” said Armstead.

Club Members are grateful for their community, including its Veterans. Ardie R. Copas of Fort Pierce, whose name adorns the Veteran’s Nursing Home, was killed in action in Vietnam in 1970. The bench stands for him and all the brave men and women who fought and continue tofight for freedom.

Mitchell told the crowd, “You paved the ground that we walk on through your hard work and sacrifice. Thank you for your service.”

Vice Mayor Jolien Caraballo, St. Lucie County Property Appraiser Michelle Franklin, and Manager of the St. Lucie County Veteran Services Officers Jose’ Capallan shook hands with andthanked the Veterans.


Tricia Jenkins, Vice President Of Philanthropy Headshot
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