Boone County Fair Partners with Local Veterans Shelter

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COLUMBIA - Tuesday was Veterans Night at the Boone County Fair.

Part of the proceeds raised from ticket sales Tuesday will go to Welcome Home, a Columbia homeless veterans shelter. 

The shelter has 10 beds, but is currently housing 13 veterans and has a long waiting list. The shelter will put the money raised Tuesday toward funding a new, larger facility.

Welcome Home's Chief Financial Officer, Melissa Acton hopes the shelter's partnership with the fair will bring them closer to their goal. She said every dollar helps.

"Right now out biggest goal is to get a bigger facility to house more homeless veterans," Acton said. "I've been here five years and there was definitely a need then. We've been working on it for a long time."

In the new facility, Acton said the staff is hoping to create more separation between the offices and living spaces. The shelter also wants to expand to be livable for woman and children.

"The amount [of money] that we need is pretty significant. So, we're working on securing the funding and figuring out how the programming is going to work," she said. 

The residents of Welcome Home will also be volunteering at the fair Tuesday. Acton said they will be doing any task the fair needs to be completed.

"We are very happy to participate," Acton said.

Several vendors at the fair will be offering discounted food and drinks to veterans. This year is the first year the Boone County Fair is partnering with a charity.