weather icon Clear

Veterans home celebrates 11th anniversary

The Nevada State Veterans Home celebrated its 11th anniversary Monday at the home. The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce has made it a tradition to hold its August mixer at the veterans home closest to Aug. 12, the day the first resident arrived at the home.

Although 11 years of operation may not be what is considered a significant milestone, Frank Bellinger, the home’s director, said: “Every anniversary is an opportunity for us to celebrate everything the home stands for and all the efforts of the staff, the community, volunteers and residents’ families. It’s a special day to remember everyone and the things we have accomplished.”

Before the reception, Bellinger spoke of a need for more space and expanding the home . “In future legislative sessions, we will be able to communicate the need to the state, and then the state will be able to come up with the funds,” Bellinger said.

He said the Veterans Affairs Department will pay 65 percent of the cost of another home, leaving the state to pay 35 percent. During the last session, the Legislature approved the building of a home in Northern Nevada, “but that doesn’t take away from the need to expand down here,” Bellinger said.

Nevada State Veterans Home has 178 residents, with room for 180, Bellinger said. There are 49 women, 12 of whom are veterans, and the rest are spouses of veterans.

“The difference between a house and a home, we all know, is love,” said Jill Lagan, Boulder City Chamber of Commerce CEO, during brief remarks .

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck described the veterans home as “the pride and joy” and “the crown jewel” in Boulder City, showing “we care about our veterans.”

Heck, one of several speakers, thanked the director and staff and said the operation of the home is a “community effort” showing the veterans their service “will never be forgotten.”

“I’ve long said that the premiums paid by our men and women in uniform have been paid in advance through their service to our nation. We will never forget the service and sacrifices they and their families have made. We will never balance the budget on the backs of those who have given so much to our country,” Heck said.

“We’re going to get rid of sequestration because it is going to have devastating impacts on our active duty force,” he said.

“Without our residents and the sacrifices they made for our country, the home (and) the staff here wouldn’t have a purpose at all,” Bellinger said as he thanked the residents of the home.

Col. Kat Miller, appointed Monday to the directorship of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, told the audience she will begin work with architects in the next two weeks on the new veteranshome in Northern Nevada.

State Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, reminded the audience that during the 1990s, Nevada was one of only four states that did not have a veterans home, but because of a bill he sponsored , funds were made available and the Nevada State Veterans Home became a reality.

Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler and a representative of Congressman Steven Horsford presented proclamations during the celebration .

Also at the celebration was Bob Beebe, the Elks’ state representative and member of the Boulder City Elks Lodge 1682. Beebe assured there are always funds available at the home for every woman resident to have her hair done on a regular basis.

Elk member Dickie Lopas, a former VA nurse who has been volunteering at the home for more than six years, calls bingo for the residents every other Friday. She said she loves volunteering because she can give the residents “hugs and kisses and doesn’t have to worry about their food or medicine.”

“We have one of the greatest volunteer programs in the state,” volunteer coordinator Angela Metcalf said. There are approximately 110 volunteers who gave more than 13,000 hours of service in 2012, according to Metcalf.

Bellinger said in his years of working as an administrator of nursing facilities he has never seen “a harder working, more dedicated staff than the one we have here.”

The two youngest volunteers at the celebration were 4-month-old Kyle Bleeker and his 2-year-old sister, Josee, accompanied by their mom, Rachel. Rachel Bleeker, a Henderson resident, said she and the children spend their time with residents who don’t have many visitors. Josee Bleeker, who draws pictures for each resident she meets, “has been loving” volunteering, her mom said.

The evening ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new chamber member, AAA True Home Care.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Council OKs expanded solar lease

More money is coming to the city’s coffers as council members recently approved adding land to a lease option held by Silver Peak Solar LLC.

City staff target of unemployment fraud

Fraudulent unemployment claims were recently filed against some city employees, but they were not caused by a breach of the city’s or the state’s computer systems, according to officials.

City files motion to dismiss open meeting law violation claims

A new motion to dismiss some of the claims in an Eighth District Court case against the city has been filed, and a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 5.

Show of Support

Celia Shortt Goodyear/Boulder City Review

Business Beat: Comic store to move downtown

A small business is taking a big step forward and moving into a new location in downtown Boulder City.

Meeting to discuss city attorney canceled due to improper notice

A special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22, to discuss firing City Attorney Steve Morris was canceled because the process server did not give him proper notice of the meeting, despite initially saying he did.

Risk of water shortages projected

An increased risk of potential water shortages in the Colorado River Basin is expected for the next five years, according to projections released earlier this week by the Bureau of Reclamation.

Grant program to aid small businesses

Boulder City has a new grant program to help its small businesses and residents weather through the COVID-19 storm.

Survey reveals fewer ‘historic’ properties

Boulder City will not lose its spot on the National Register of Historic Places even though it no longer has enough contributing properties in the historic area.

Program reimburses families for missed school meals

Students in Boulder City may receive money to pay for meals they missed out at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.