-For The Herald-
The Sumner Lions Club will host an auction next month to raise funds for Project New Hope, a retreat that provides combat veterans and their families with the education, training, and skills necessary to manage their lives after wartime service, according to the project’s webpage.
Unlike government counseling programs, Project New Hope is available to veterans and their family members for free.
“They get to enjoy horseback riding, boating, games and a few hours of counseling in how to deal with conflicts,” said Sandy Nolen, the president of the Sumner Lions Club.
“(The veterans) get more out of Project New Hope; the government only pays for them,” Nolen said. “(The government) doesn’t put out other counseling that I’m aware of.”
Last year, 72 military families took advantage of the counseling.
“They are doing a lot better than they were,” Nolen said.
The Lions started Project New Hope in 2007 in Minnesota, and now it’s a national program.
“People just sit around and open up,” Bruce Billington, founder of Project New Hope, said in a promotional video. “You can’t do that in an office. There’s only so much a white painted room can do for you.”
Project New Hope in Washington is held at the Cascade Camp at the northern end of Elbow Lake in Thurston County.
Although the counseling sessions are free for veterans and their family members, they still cost $5,000 each. The money is provided by donors and through fundraising events like the Lions auction.
Lions Club Auction
• Where: Midtown Station, 813 Academy St., Sumner
• When: Noon to 5 p.m. June 1
To donate items, call Sandy Nolen at 253-826-6049.