Veterans seek to raise funds and awareness of Purple Heart | News, Sports, Jobs

CANFIELD — It’s hard to miss the big purple tent among the many food vendors, rides and games at the 176th annual Canfield Fair. And that is exactly what some local veterans are counting on as they try to raise money for the Military Order of the Purple Hearts Chapter 606.

Fairgoers can spend between $1 a ticket or $5 for six to be placed into a wheel for a chance to win two 65-inch TVs donated by Meijer.

Two drawings will take place on Labor Day to announce the winner.

“Part of the money raised will go toward a scholarship fund for people that are relatives, great- grandfathers of veterans that have a Purple Heart,” said Leo Connelly Jr., 74, of Boardman, senior vice commander for the chapter.

He and other members were at the tent on Wednesday, which was the first day of the fair. It ends on Monday.

The scholarship will be given to those looking to attend college or trade school. Operating the tent gives Connelly a chance to to raise money for his organization’s charitable activities, but it’s also is a chance for him to educate people on what a Purple Heart is.

“It gives me joy for that 99 percent that don’t know what a Purple Heart is, to teach them that that is the cost of freedom,” he said. “I get so much joy out of seeing people honor and recognize the purple heart, what it stands, for while also raising the funds to do what we do,” Connelly said.

He said the community support has been overwhelming.

“I’ve always said the greatest joy of Youngstown is its people and this proves it,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, $50,000 already had been raised. They look to add considerably to that total throughout the six-day fair.

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