The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, formerly called the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Museum and Library Foundation founded in 2003, has adopted a new streamlined name to better reflect the many different efforts it is involved in.
The Board of Directors voted on the new name at its March meeting and approved unanimously to "establish and operate a Veterans Foundation dedicated to American men and women of all military services."
PCVF helps numerous veteran-oriented initiatives and support programs. Among the many, they directly support the Hospice Pinning Ceremonies, fund the Sea Cadets, UCSB’s ROTC program — one of the top-ranked college programs — and the UCSB Veterans Resource Team and, in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Foundation, it raises and distributes financial aid to veterans at all the higher educational facilities here who have exhausted their GI Bill of Rights Benefits. A museum and library continue to be a big part of the organization’s goals.
The community knows PCVF best for the annual Veterans Day Weekend with the parade, flyovers, concert and marathon. Carrying on the tradition Pierre Claeyssens started 19 years ago The Military Ball is the standout event of the Veterans Weekend.
“To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen," Claeyssens said. "To be lost is not the worst that can happen … to be forgotten is the worst.”
PCVF’s board believes strongly in this motto, and "Never Forgotten" is part of the logo. This Memorial Day, PCVF will have a free one-hour ceremony at the Santa Barbara Cemetery to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. It will culminate with a patriotic flyover of vintage aircraft that will do “The Missing Man” formation as its final pass over the cemetery. We invite the community to join us. Event starts at 10 a.m.
The PCVF Board of Directors members are Hazel Blankenship, John Blankenship, Bill Brown, Phil Conran, Michael Cook, Ed Dewey, Marilyn Gilbert, Jack Harris, Dr. Adam Lewis, Fred Lopez, Michel Nellis, Dennis Peterson, Jose Ramirez, Pete Schenck and Robert Zeman.
Next up for PCVF is the Thursday, May 8 luncheon and symposium in collaboration with the Channel City Club to honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Held at Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort, this is always a sell-out event. For information on tickets ($40) please call the Channel City Club at 805.884.6636 or click here. For information on PCVF, call 805.259.4394 or find us on Facebook.
— Maureen McFadden is a publicist representing the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.