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Invest in America Veterans Foundation to host holiday concert

By Staff | Aug 31, 2011

The Invest in America Veterans Foundation is kicking off the Labor Day holiday weekend with a free concert Saturday in the parking lot of the former Sweetbay Supermarket.

The site of the group’s hoped for military museum will for one day become a concert venue, but it will also act as a conduit to help put veterans back to work.

Veterans Foundation Executive Director Ralph Santillo said an effort is planned to create a database of out of work veterans that can be paired up with available jobs in the area.

“Everyday we’re getting guys who are coming in and asking for jobs,” Santillo said. “We’re also getting calls from businesses and other opportunities coming through where we thought we could place these people. We want to get organized so we can create that database.”

A tent will be set up at the concert so veterans can register, according to Santillo.

Some immediate job opportunities may be available with Veterans Foundation, he added.

“We’re going to start working to set up a phone bank,” Santillo said. “Veterans could be calling for donations, selling American-made items, that kind of thing. We want to get out there and hit the street corners, so to speak, and we can pay guys to do that.”

Of course, eight hours of live, free entertainment are on tap for that day, with the Cultural Park Theater performers, a Neil Diamond tribute and even Santillo himself on stage belting Frank Sinatra tunes.

Santillo said cheap refreshments will be for sale. And maps of the neighborhood will be handed out.

Santillo said people are encouraged to tour the neighborhood and visit the businesses where they can receive free stuff, like a beer at Jones’s Joint.

“We want to give people the idea they can park in one place and go visit a half dozen more places,” Santillo said.

The “Labor Day Kick-Off” party and concert will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about the event, or the Invest In America job fair and database, call 541-8704.