35th Annual Christmas with the Vets Fundraiser

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In the winter of 1988, two Vietnam Veterans, Jeff "Doc" Dentice, a former army medic, and Mike Lango put together a Christmas show for the Veterans residing at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. They intended it to be a one-time event but as you can imagine, it was such a huge success, that they continued it ever since.
Since 1996, Doc kept the show going on his own with help from family, friends and volunteers, and coordinates every aspect of the event. We have had the pleasure of working with Doc for the past seven years to coordinate a donation drive, and we can honestly say that Doc is one of the most selfless people we have ever met. He puts his whole heart and soul into everything he does to help Veterans.

Prior to COVID 19 Doc would have had two or more Christmas parties going on at the same time on different floors in the hospital – but that was pre-pandemic. Since the pandemic, Doc's annual fundraising events have had to be canceled, and donation drives are more challenging, with many employees working remotely.
He receives no government funding for the Christmas with the Vets program. ALL donations are raised through the hard work of Doc and his volunteers, strictly by fundraising events. Doc also works with several businesses that help by holding donation drives for the Christmas party.

In 2020, for the first time in 33 years, Doc could not hold a live show for the Veterans. He had to drop off all donations at the hospital so they could be quarantined for two weeks before distributing them. Then on Christmas Eve, the staff of the VA Medical Center handed out the Christmas stockings and a ditty bags to every Veteran residing in the VA Medical Center. (A ditty bag is a gift filled with all sorts of items – playing cards, shirts, socks, hygiene products etc.) The same thing happened in 2021.
Doc was hoping to be able to hold a live show once again for the 35th Annual Christmas with the Vets party this December but unfortunately this is not possible. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI is currently still masked up with restrictions in place. This won’t stop Doc from giving the veterans another Christmas to remember.

This is where you come in. We need your donations – big or small – so we can help Doc fill more than 340 ditty bags for our hospitalized Veterans. For many veterans there, this might be the only Christmas gift they receive. Won’t you please consider donating so we can help our local Veterans have a Merry Christmas? Thank you so much for your consideration of this great cause.

Every donation is so greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

From Doc’s Christmas Elves


Linda Resler
Muskego, WI

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