Baldwin County’s Veterans Court received a $4,000 donation from the Eastern Shore Republican Women earlier this week, funds that Judge Michelle Thomason said help keep the court going as a resource for local veterans.
“Funding like this from the Eastern Shore Republican Women is really critical for us because the court is really funded through grants and private donations,” Thomason said. “The money raised from the fish fry helps us with specific therapies for our veterans, equine therapy being one of those and other therapies not funded through the VA. It also allows us to hold a graduation ceremony once a year so that we can celebrate their accomplishments.”
The Veterans Court assists local veterans who find themselves in legal trouble, allowing those veterans charged with a crime to undergo a treatment program and counseling in exchange for a dismissal of the charges against them.
Thomason estimates the program has graduated almost 50 people over the last four years, but said the court has touched over 300 veterans that have come through the court whose charges might not have been beneficial for them to complete the program.
“They’re still given information and assistance to find the resources they need to help them,” Thomason said. “We’re always going to do what we can to try to help people.”
Eastern Shore Republican Women President Jerry Ann McCarron said the group has donated large amounts to the Veterans Court over the last four years, with the money coming from the group’s annual fish fry.
“Every fish fry we’ve done, we donate the proceeds to the Veterans Court,” McCarron said. “It’s a cause that we’ve taken on as something near and dear to our hearts, to help our local veterans that have fought for us get help they need when they need it.”