Venison for veterans in Montgomery and Fulton Counties

Many different agencies united for Venison for Veterans and Seniors, combining deliveries in Fulton and Montgomery Counties for the first time this year.

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The launching spot was Checkers Out Speedway.

The rows and rows of bags contained all kinds of meat, including some 3,000 pounds of venison.

“90% of it came from hunters,” said Venison for Veterans organizer Tom Georgia. “A lot of people would have extra tags and they would take it to a butcher and we have a butcher who has designated a spot in his butcher shop and it’s all professionally done.”

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This is an all volunteer effort. The many volunteers including veteran Gary Stoller, a Purple Heart recipient.

“I was helping set up, helping bag up the venison and whatever else they had,” he said.

The venison and other meat goes out to some 225 seniors and veterans.

The deliveries are popular with those who enjoy venison, but no longer hunt.

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“A lot of the people, the seniors especially, they haven’t had it in years. Well, now that we’ve run the program for 15 years, they start calling after the first of the year to make sure they sign up, even though they’re not supposed to sign up until March,” said Georgia, with a smile.

Car after car picked up bags and headed out.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Sergeant Wayne Hulstander’s first stop was to veteran Ronald Quackenbush. As it happened, it was an exchange from one Marine to another.

“This is the second year that I’ve had it and I sure appreciate it,” said Quackenbush. “I like venison and I don’t go out and hunt it anymore, and it doesn’t cost me anything, so I’m happy with that.”

This was the biggest turnout yet. Next year, they plan to expand to Saratoga and Schoharie Counties.