Hypnotist comedian to entertain at Youngstown for veterans' charity
Benefit show on June 16
Hypnosis Comedy starring Joe Black to benefit One Less Mountain, a new non-profit organization which helps helps veterans with the transition of getting plugged back into society when they get back home from serving our country. It's tough to make that transition back into society, especially in this economy and since Afghanistan is being scaled back, there are 500-700 coming back into our State every month now, so this is a time where organizations like this are needed more than ever.
Where: Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way S.W.)
When: June 16, 6:45 P.M.
How much: $20 to benefit One Less Mountain
More info (including tickets) here: http://xgym.com/joe-black/
More on One Less Mountain:
In a nutshell, One Less Mountain (OLM) is a "child" of a group called Hope for Heroism, http://www.hopeforheroism.org/, an Israeli Veteran peer helping peer non-profit organization. The Hope for Heroism (HFH) leaders approached the WA Department of Veterans Affairs (WA DVA) with the proposal to take several US Vets to Israel to see the HFH program & meet the organization's leaders. HFH is actually funded primarily from Seattle and their Executive Directive is Rabbi Chaim Levine who lives in Seattle. HFH is a program of wounded Israeli Vets helping wounded Israeli Vets, and is very successful.
A team of Rabbi Levine, Attorney General Rob McKenna, Mike Gregoire (First Mike), John Lee (Director of WA DVA), four US Vets who had been in Iraq & Afghanistan and Dr. Sollek (a Vietnam War Vet) visited Israel and our counterparts at HFH in December, 2010. Since return, they have gone through surveys, interviews, research, worked with the WA DVA and visited base commanders in WA to see how we could best benefit Vets recently discharged from the military.
The issues this team found in the Veteran community that needed to be addressed were threefold:
1. A lack of veteran transition planning and case management services available after separation from active duty
2. A feeling (by Veterans) of disconnection from society but especially from their military teams
3. A lack of employer knowledge of a veteran’s perspective - wanting to hire Vets but concerned about how to work & communicate with Vets
Based on this, OLM's primary functions are two-fold with a 3rd area to be developed:
1. A Veteran transition case management program - we will partner with major WA military bases, embed transition specialists with the military, and start visits to plan transition to civilian life as much as 6 months before discharge.
•This will continue in OLM's off-base offices after discharge
•Existing Veteran resource organizations will be used for referral - no new wheel development
•Follow up calls, results-oriented outcomes questions, quality of resource service inquiries will be made frequently
•This is much akin to the Sergeant making sure the soldier has done what was needed - amazing how many Vets have told us this is a huge missing piece for them
•One of the commanding Generals in the State has told us he would love to have this service - he just doesn't have the personnel
•The transition specialist case manager will also have access to an up to date list of Veteran resources to which to refer
•The transition case management allows for a hub of care and oversight for Vets going out into the business, school, family world - and is a huge resource for any care that may be needed - so resources & resource use are connected, not silo-ed.
2. A veteran connect program patterned after the Hope for Heroism program. Provide an environment in which veterans can connect & interact with like individuals and with like experiences. This activity has already included white water rafting weekends, horseback riding, ropes courses - all to bring Vets together to tell their stories, hear what each other may be going through, and validate each others concerns and share methods of success.
3. The 3rd area of activity is a developmental one, and we think it will be important in OLM's future. OLM has started the work to develop an education program for corporate HR teams possibly entitled: Vet Speak - How to Open a Conversation With Veteran Employees. One of OLM's Board members (Tim Waters) was the Education Director at Starbucks - he's commented several times that, in this environment of encouragement to hire Vets, a situation arises in workplaces in which fear, concern, cultural differences may actually create concerns about how to work with or manage or even communicate with a Vet who has been in a war zone. Both Tim & Dr. Sollek have had some experience in creating corporate education programs so they have committed to creating this program, thinking it could be a possible source of sustaining funding for the organization.
OLM is an accredited 501-c3 organization through the IRS and have State recognition. The Board is comprised of two of the younger Vets who went to Israel (one finishing school at WWU and the other about to go into grad school), Executive Project Managers at Providence Health & Services and Starbucks (both Vets), a Seattle banker, an attorney (a Vet), a psychologist and educator from Edmonds Community College and Dr Sollek. They have the support and encouragement of the Hope for Heroism founders and backers as well.