VERO BEACH - The first annual Stars and Stripes Spectacular Gala, held at the Grand Harbor Club House on April 13th, raised over $15,000 to assist veterans in need.

Veterans Helping Veterans, the program that will receive the funds, offers free services to qualified Indian River County veteran homeowners to do home repairs that enhance safety, accessibility or quality of life.

About 120 individuals attended the black tie event. The keynote speaker, former U.S. Marine Sergeant Sylvester McIntosh, Sr., is the recipient of the Silver Star for actions in Vietnam in 1967.

"We can't thank the community enough for their continued support of our veterans," said retired Air Force Colonel Marty Zickert. "Everyone here tonight plays a part in serving the veterans and families of Indian River County."

"I am grateful to the generous local businesses who unselfishly donated the items for our silent auction," said Leydiana Collins, the event organizer. "We owe our gratitude to many, and would also like to give a special thanks to Grand Harbor for making our evening so extraordinary."

Sponsors of the tables to honor the military services included the Exchange Club of the Treasure Coast, Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, Ruchman and Associates and SemperServe. Dogs for Life, Elite Airways, and the 2020 Vero Beach Air Show featuring the Blue Angels made donations.

"This was an extremely successful event, and we all look forward to an even bigger one next year," Ms. Collins concluded.

For more information about the Veterans Council of Indian River County, or to request assistance for a local veteran in need, visit or call (772) 410-5820.

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