A group of Livingston County Veterans have been working behind the scenes for about a year to create a new local veterans support organization.
A group of Livingston County Veterans have been working behind the scenes for about a year to create a new local veterans support organization. The official name is “Livingston County Veterans Association” (LICOVA for short) which has been awarded 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization status by the Internal Revenue Service. Founders and board members of LICOVA are grateful to local legal and accounting professionals who helped get it established. LICOVA began as an effort to formalize existing work already done jointly by local VFW and American Legion posts and members. They have worked together for years to create and maintain memorials located on courthouse grounds, provide color guards for parades and ceremonies, assist local veterans, and provide other services to youth and our community. Due to limitations within the IRS Code under which the national VFW and American Legion are organized, some local veterans are not eligible for membership; but, local leaders organized LICOVA in a way that any Livingston County veteran or active duty military member may belong unless dishonorably discharged. Members of American Legion Post 25 and VFW Post 858 are automatic members of LICOVA, and all other local veterans are invited to join. Inquiries can be sent to LICOVA, P.O. Box 1141, Chillicothe, MO 64601; or by sending a message through www.Facebook/LICOVA. An immediate goal of LICOVA is to build a new Veterans Building for the use of local American Legion and VFW posts and other area veterans. With support from area Foundations as well as VFW and American Legion members, a professional architect has designed and provided drawings for the building project. The LICOVA Board of Directors has recently been in a quiet fundraising campaign, and is excited to announce that gifts and written pledges totaling about $700,000 have been received toward a goal to raise $1.1 million for the project. Plans are now shifting into a more public phase of the campaign in order to broaden requests to local groups, businesses, and individuals who might like to assist; as well as out-of-town organizations who support veterans and their causes. A local fund-raising professional has also been contacted to help reach the goal, and to help with a possible Missouri Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) application. LICOVA board members are grateful for support already received, and are excited about future possibilities for local veterans. LICOVA board members are available to civic and other groups to tell their story. “In addition to benefitting veterans, the building will be an attractive addition to downtown Chillicothe and will be available to the general public for meetings, conferences, parties, etc., on a rental basis,” said President Ed Allender. The building is to be located on empty lots now owned by American Legion Post 25 east of Washington Street, immediately south of what will become the new Childrens’ Library Building (formerly Walgreen’s). LICOVA board members are Ed Allender, Joe Carter, George Laprade, Larry Warren, Matt Hopper, Jim Summerville, Larry “Bud” Hinnen and Benny Simpson.