Eighth-grade students at West Shore Middle School in Milford are hosting a dinner to raise money for Veteran Angler Charters on Wednesday, May 18, in their school cafeteria.
Veteran Angler Charters  is a federally recognized 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based right next door in West Haven that offers free charter fishing trips to active duty, retired, wounded and recovering veterans and their families as a form of recreational rehabilitation and therapeutic support. Quite simply, says founder Captain Kathy Granfield, it’s all about “Fishin’ with a mission.”

Granfield first got the idea to take veterans out fishing in the spring of 2007. “Though I had participated in many work-related fundraisers to support our troops, I wanted to do something on a more personal level to thank our veterans for their service,” says Granfield. “A conversation with my father, an Army vet, led me to wonder if taking service members out fishing might provide a well-deserved physical and psychological respite.”

After two long years, VA Charters finally got off the dock with its first group of young veterans, all recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, on July 7, 2009. “It was tremendously rewarding to be able to thank the veterans personally for their service, and to watch them relax and enjoy themselves on the boat,” remembers Granfield.

The public is invited to attend the fundraising dinner. The cost of the dinner is $10 for adults and $5 for veterans and children under 12. The evening is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will go from approximately 6:20 until 7:30 and be followed by a few speeches by local and state officials. There will also be a special tribute to one of Milford’s fallen heroes, Mr. Jack Stoeber, a Pearl Harbor survivor who passed away in January of this year. For more information, contact Tom Acri at (203) 783-3553 or tacri@milforded.org.