12 October 2018 MDVA News & Announcements

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maryland department of veterans affairs

News and Announcements  -  October 12, 2018


Tim Photo

MDVA bids a fond farewell to Tim Gasque, who is retiring after 17 years with MDVA.  Tim worked in the Memorials Program, helping to maintain the World War II, Korean, Vietnam and Gold Star Family Memorials.  We wish Tim and his family a happy and healthy retirement.  Shown in photo, from left to right: Russ Ware, Tim Gasque and Chris Piscitelli, all with the MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program.

Change in Cemetery Rates for Eligible Dependents Effective October 29, 2018


Burial Costs

An eligible veteran receives a burial plot, a grave liner, headstone and interment services at no expense.  

Other expenses incurred in the preparation or transportation of the remains, including funeral costs, is borne by the veteran’s next-of-kin, legal representative or estate.

A veteran’s dependent will be buried in the plot assigned to the veteran after payment of the following fees:

  • An opening and closing charge of $762 for all eligible dependents of the veteran;
  • This cost is inclusive of casketed and cremated interments and liner cost for dependent spouse(s) or children  

Read More at MDVA Cemetery & Memorial Program

Fleet Week

MDVA joined forces with the United States Vet Center local outreach staff to meet and talk with veterans during Baltimore Fleet Week and Air Show.  We talked with hundreds of veterans over three days to ensure they knew of services and benefits available to them.  A friendly cow also stopped by.

Make sure you read the article about Wayne Miller and the Vet Centers below.  You will find the link in the Federal Partner News section.

State Partner News

Sham Law Enforcement Fundraiser Ordered to Stop 

Soliciting Donations

Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announce a Cease and Desist Order has been issued against Stephen D. Everhart, Lion Fundraising, Police Journal and Fire Yearbook, and Lion Fraternal Order of Police Assistance Fund LLC. The order follows an investigation that revealed over $1 million in donations were solicited and received by Mr. Everhart since 2012 in violation of the Maryland Solicitations Act. Mr. Everhart posed as fake law enforcement charities to collect donations, and failed to register with the Secretary of State as either a charity or fundraiser before soliciting and collecting donations using a cash on delivery service.

"There is no place in Maryland for someone that scams the public in the name of charity," said Secretary of State Wobensmith. "We will continue to work to stop those that con our citizens into donating their hard-earned money to a scam charity."

"Mr. Everhart posed as a fundraiser for fake charities supposedly representing police, firefighters, and veterans. These sham charities steal from consumers and violate the trust of those who donate," said Attorney General Frosh. "Fake charities also hurt legitimate charitable organizations by siphoning off support from their good work. We are committed to putting these fraudsters out of business."

An investigation by the Secretary of State's Charities and Legal Services Division, aided by the Office of the Attorney General, revealed that Mr. Everhart had posed as a fundraiser since 2012. He purported to solicit on behalf of fake law enforcement, firefighter and veterans' charities. He solicited by telephone and collected donations from unsuspecting consumers using a cash on delivery service. Everhart used fake thank you letters from: McKimmie-Catterton Maryland Police Post 2979, Anne Arundel Police Post 2979, Firefighters Association, Maryland Fire Post, Coalition of Police, Anne Arundel Police Stronger Than Drugs, D.C. Police Assistance Funding, D.C. Police Association Blue Santa Drive, FOP Fundraising, Lion Charitable Fundraising, Lion Charitable Funding, Lion Fraternal Order of Police, Lion Police Fire Veterans Fundraising, Lion United Funds, Maryland Law Enforcement Fund, Police Fire Post, Police Fire Veterans Assistance Fund 2979, Police Fire Veterans Assistance Fund, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2979.

Mr. Everhart, Lion Fundraising, Police Journal and Fire Yearbook, and Lion Fraternal Order of Police Assistance Fund LLC were not registered with the Secretary of State to solicit charitable donations.

The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable organizations, professional solicitors, and fundraising counsel that solicit donations on behalf of charities in Maryland. The Office works to ensure that charitable contributions made by Marylanders go to qualified charitable organizations and are used for the intended purpose.

Anyone who may have been solicited by Mr. Everhart, Lion Fundraising, Lion Fundraising, Police Journal and Fire Yearbook, or Lion Fraternal Order of Police Assistance Fund LLC is encouraged to contact Michael Brent Dinterman, Investigator, Charities and Legal Services Division at 410-260-3859. To check if a charity or a professional solicitor is registered or to report other suspected violations of charitable giving law, please call 410-260-3879 or 1-800-825-4510. More information can also be found on the Secretary of State's website: https://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/Solicitor-and-Fund-Raiser-Counsel-List.aspx.

Governor Hogan Signs Amended Executive Order for Commission for Suicide Prevention

Highlights Importance of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Efforts to Ensure Marylanders Have Access to Mental Health Services

Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2018.26, which modernizes the Governor’s Commission for Suicide Prevention. The updated executive order is in response to rising national and state suicide rates and follows a request from the commission that was supported by the Maryland Department of Health.

“Every day, thousands of Marylanders struggle with mental health challenges, and we must do everything we can to support them,” said Governor Hogan. “Widespread outreach and public education efforts are integral to combating the all-too-frequent tragedy of suicide and decreasing the stigma surrounding it. If you or anyone you know is struggling, I encourage you to please take the first step and reach out for help.”

Read More Here

Spotlight on Education - Chesapeake College

Accelerated Path to Nursing Degree for Veterans - Info Session, October 18, 2018

Baby Boomer Startup Program

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? A growing number of individuals in the later stages of their lives are turning interests, hobbies, and skills into a small business. One in four individuals between the ages of 44 to 70 are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. If you’re ready to start the next chapter, and try your hand at business ownership, this program is for you!

Read More Here 

Federal Partner News

Vet Center - Local Hero Highlighted

Vet Center

Wayne Miller, Director of the Vet Center in Silver Spring was profiled recently in the VVA Veteran Magazine.  If you have not had an opportunity to meet Wayne, please take the opportunity to read about him and the work of the Vet Centers.

Thank you to the VVA for granting permission to provide a link to the article.

Read more about Wayne Miller and the Vet Center Program

Service member's immediate actions for financial success, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Navigating the military financial lifecycle, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Every Cell Has a Story to Tell in Brain Injury, National Institutes of Health

VA Jobs - MilitaryBenefits article

VA Research: Study explores ways in which melamine, found in household items may cause kidney damage

Feeling Angry and Frustrated? - Read the story of a veteran who sought help.

Volunteer at the VA - Drivers Needed

VA Benefits Progress & Results Webcast with VA Under Secretary Paul Lawrence - October 16th

VA Volunteer Hospice Training - October 17th and 18th

Life-Changing Research at the VA - Maryland VA Health Care System mention, Monitor on Psychology article

VA Releases Suicide Data, FEDweek article

Community Partner News

For Your Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse the organizations sponsoring these events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of MDVA.  The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only, and serves solely as a MDVA community outreach effort.

Community News

Voices of Vets Video - Check it Out!  Voices for Vets often performs at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and we appreciate their support. Voices of Vets event on October 15th in Columbia

New Program Aims to Pay Tribute to Maryland's Veterans, JMore article

Anne Arundel County Offers Property Tax Credit to Vets (Retired), Anne Arundel Patch article

Travis Manion Foundation Invites you to Join an Operation Legacy Project in November

Hospice of the Chesapeake

Four years ago, Millie Gentile learned from a good friend about Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Honor Salute program wherein dying veterans were thanked for their service with a brief but formal acknowledgement from military volunteers. Part of that moving moment included the gift of handmade patriotic lap blankets. The skilled quilter donated a red, white and blue quilt she stitched and was so moved by the idea, she told her friends.

Luckily for the Pasadena nonprofit, those friends happened to be the Downs Park Quilters. They all agreed with co-president Gentile that creating and donating quilts for this project fit in well with the club’s mission of turning their love of quilting into love for the community.

When the quilters realized they would be approaching a milestone of more than 100 quilts donated to veteran patients, co-presidents Gentile and Shirley Wise invited Nicole Malatesta, Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Volunteer Services Coordinator for its We Honor Veterans Program, to its Sept. 28 meeting to accept what turned out to be the motherlode of patriotic quilts.

Before introducing Malatesta to the membership gathered in the Chesapeake Room of the park’s visitor’s center, Gentile motioned to several tables piled high with handmade quilts, ready to be donated to patients in the weeks ahead. It was clear that this represented nearly the 14 quilts needed to make the goal of 100 quilts donated in four years. Visibly proud of the overwhelming response, she said, “Just look at all those beautiful quilts. We can be proud to say, ‘I am a Downs Park Quilter!”

Malatesta shared with the membership how important their donations are to the veterans who receive them, sharing stories of how moved patients and families are by not only the generosity, but by the craftsmanship of the quilts. “One veteran quickly handed over his old lap blanket to his family and said, ‘get rid of this ratty old thing – this is the blanket I will be using from now on!’” Malatesta said. She also told the quilters that at least one patient requested that they be buried with the quilt.

The quilting group meets Friday mornings in the park to share their love of quilting. Besides stitching blankets for Veterans, the group also sews quilts for premature babies at local hospitals and pillows for breast cancer survivors. Over the years, the quilters have raised more than $25,000 for the park they call home by raffling elaborate quilts which take the group six to nine months to piece together. To join the group or to learn more, call Wise at 410-255-0618.

To donate quilts to or learn more about the We Honor Veterans Program, contact Hospice of the Chesapeake at nmalatesta@hospicechesapeake.org or call Malatesta at 443-837-1513.

Article and Photo Credit: Hospice of the Chesapeake

Community Calendar

October 13, 2018

Variety for Veterans Show - The Finest Talent in the Tri-State Area

Eastern Shore Stand Down - American Legion Post 64, 1109 American Legion Drive, Salisbury, MD 21801, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (no flier available for this event)

October 14, 2018

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon, Indian Head

October 15, 2018

Voices of Vets, Inc., Columbia

October 16, 2018

VA Benefits Progress and Results Webcast with VA Under Secretary for Benefits, Paul Lawrence

October 17, 2018

MOAA Virtual Career Fair, On-line

VA Volunteer Hospice Training, Baltimore

October 18, 2018

Military Spouse Hiring Reception, Arundel Mills - Service Members & Veterans also welcome, More Info Here

October 19, 2018

Howard County 50 Plus Expo, Columbia

VA Volunteer Hospice Training, Baltimore

October 21, 2018

Veteran Free Labs Check-up - this will be followed by a Free Health fair on Nov. 3rd, Temple Hills

October 22, 2018

Veterans Boot Camp, LaPlata

October 25, 2018

Ready, Set, Grow! Small, Minority & Women Contracting Event, Baltimore

October 26, 2018 

Career Fair, Windsor Mill

October 27, 2018

Veterans Housing Summit, Annapolis

The Western Front Association, East Coast Branch - Spirit of 1918 Symposium, Gettysburg

October 28, 2018

Hero Dogs Puppy Program Orientation

November 3, 2018

4th Annual Veterans Stand Down, La Plata

Prince George's County Expungement Fair, Landover

Free Health Fair, Temple Hills

November 7, 2018

Veterans Resource Day, California

November 8, 2018

Veterans Day at the Myerberg Center, Baltimore

November 10, 2018

Veterans Resource Fair, Bel Air

Veterans Day Concert, Baltimore

Veterans Appreciation Day Service, Baltimore