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St. Louisans Helping Organize Parade For Iraq War Vets

A grassroots group trying to raise funds by Friday night in hopes of honoring Iraq war vets downtown later this month.

St. Louis knows how to throw a parade. The Cardinals helped the community prove that once the team's magical run to a World Series title came to fruition last fall. Now, a grassroots group is coming together to show the same can be done to honor returning Iraq war veterans.

What started as a dream a little more than a week ago now has a Facebook group page with more than 1,500 members.

The group is led by Tom Applebaum, a Creve Coeur area resident who is also a member of the Parkway School board, and Craig Schneider, a St. Charles resident who works for the St. Charles School District.

They are aiming to raise $25,000 by Friday at midnight to turn their goal of holding a "Welcome Home The Heroes From Iraq" parade downtown on January 28, into a reality.

Applebaum's wife, Ladonna, told Patch Wednesday that the organizers have approval from the City of St. Louis to move forward as far as parade logistics are concerned.

The Friday night deadline was set by an unnamed Veterans charity organization. Ladonna Applebaum said the organization told them it "would bring in the big guns" to help make the parade happen.

She said appointments with potential corporate sponsors were already scheduled for Thursday and that organizers already are a quarter of the way to their goal since a KSDK-TV story on the effort aired Tuesday night.

If organizers cannot raise the money by the deadline, funds will be donated to the veteran's charity organization.

For more information:

  • Check out the event's Facebook page
  • Email a pledge to iraqwelcomehome@gmail.com
  • Fax a pledge to (314) 985-0637

Applebaum said donors do not need to provide credit card information when making a pledge.

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