The idea for a Day Room first came from Steve Weyher and Marlyce Stockinger who were members of the Board of Directors of the Branson Veterans Task Force and co-chaired the Branson Veteran’s Homecoming Event in November of 2006. Many years ago, to the young soldier, a Day Room was an activity room, where they could go to relax, watch TV, play games and socialize. A little bit of home a way from home. So when they asked us to host the room, that was the direction we took.
The original thought was to have a place where the Vet’s could come and socialize between shows or other events, or while the wives were out shopping. They were invited to bring their acoustical instruments and jam, or they could play pool, pingpong, or foosball, or just relax and visit with other veterans.
Our local Golden Corral started us off each day with two trays of cookies and about 60 cups of coffee. We were pretty much able to handle things, just the two of us. Never in a million years did we ever expect it to grow into what it was this past year.
Now, we can’t even begin to count how many cookies, cakes, pastries, donuts, crackers, and cereal mix we went through. Nor can we say how many gallons of coffee, water, Gatorade, tea, and even hot chocolate, were consumed.
We believe that better than 2,000 veterans and their guests visited the Day Room last November, and God blessed us with more volunteers than we have ever had before. They served cookies and breads, made tea and coffee, emptied trash, answered thousands of questions, gave directions, some walked at least a hundred miles a day, and through it all, they smiled and shared in making the Day Room, a place that is all about the Veterans.
The pool, foosball and pingpong all went by the wayside, a few years back, but they still bring their guitars, fiddles, dobros, harmonicas and spoons. We sing, dance, laugh, and sometimes cry, but we always have a wonderful time.
So if you’re in town for Branson Veteran’s Homecoming November 5 – 11, look us up. Factory Merchants Branson, Building 5 is where we’ll be. Can’t miss us. Just look for all the flags out front. Coffee’s always on and we never go hungry.
Don’t forget we do Reveille at 7:00 am and Retreat at 5:00 pm November 6 – 10.
The Day Room is sponsored by Branson Veterans Task Force.
Chip & Sandy