Originally published Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 06:00a.m.

Republican Women of Prescott (RWOP) paid tribute to our veterans at their annual Veterans Day Luncheon on Nov. 13. Throughout the year, RWOP members make donations to their “Red Envelope Fund” enabling them to invite local veterans to a luncheon in their honor.

This year RWOP hosted approximately 180 Veterans with a total luncheon attendance of 473. The event was held at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center.

In addition, their Caring for America charity for this event is always the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. RWOP offered raffle tickets for every toy donated then drew for prizes during the luncheon which resulted in record toy donations. At their September luncheon, RWOP members and guests donated $11,322 toward the Northern Arizona VA Hospital’s Wheelchair project.

The featured speaker for this year’s luncheon was Stan Goligoski, Ret. U.S. Army Major and Bronze Star recipient who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also featured were Paulette Martone a local Gold Star Mother plus the VFW “Voice of Democracy” award winner, Shana Edwards, a Prescott High School student.

Shana read her moving essay to the attendees with such feeling and conviction many were moved to tears. Rodney Glassman,

USAF Veteran opened the meeting by singing “The Star Spangled Banner”, as well as the closing song “God Bless America”. The Song of the Pines Singers performed “This is My Country” and special guest Ken Bennett, former Arizona Secretary of State, sang “If You’re Reading This…” by Tim McGraw.

Many of our local Veterans look forward to attending this tribute each year, the reservations were filled before the luncheon was announced in the monthly RWOP newsletter.

Every effort is made to accommodate our veterans and RWOP members know to make their reservations early as this annual luncheon is always a packed house.