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Three-Town Parade Benefits Vets Groups

Organizers of the June 23 "Welcome Home Veterans" Parade presented two checks totaling roughly $7,000 to benefit veterans groups during Monday's Township Council meeting.

Wounded Warrior Project, Military Support Group of New Jersey Inc. and New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes each will have more money in their coffers after Monday night's Gloucester Township Council meeting.

Kevin Bucceroni, Marianne Coyle and Suzanne Moore—the three main organizers of the three-town Black Horse Pike "Welcome Home Veterans" Parade—presented Karen Jennings, of Military Support Group, and Earl E. Courter, state commander of the Department of New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars, each with checks for more than $3,500 during the meeting.

The funds were raised through the June 23 parade.

Jennings, a proud Marine mom, will use the funds to assist her Stratford-based organization, which, as the name suggests, serves as a support group for deployed miltiary men and women, as well as veterans.

Courter indicated the $3,500-plus check he received Monday will support both Wounded Warrior Project and state veterans homes in Vineland, Menlo Park and Paramus.

Wounded Warrior Project aids wounded service members in adjusting to life when they return home. It also puts wounded service members in touch with one another so they can help each other.

"We're going to make this an annual event. We're planning on September of '13 for the next one," Bucceroni, vice president of the Black Horse Pike Regional School District board, said. "Hopefully, we can raise as much money, if not more.

Mayor David Mayer and Council honored Bucceroni, Coyle and Moore, as well as approximately 40 other volunteers who helped organize the veterans parade, which passed through Gloucester Township, Bellmawr and Runnemede.

"We are gathering here today to say 'thank you' to the men and women who, in 73 days, put this parade together," Mayer said. "Many people volunteered their time and their energies to organize and pull this parade together."

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