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Community Foundation to Announce $50,000 in Spark Grants at Veterans Affairs Program

Allentown, Pa., November 28, 2017— Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15), chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, will be joined by two military veterans who will tell their stories at the Community Foundation’s program, “In Focus: Veterans Affairs in the Lehigh Valley,” on Monday, December 4, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at PBS39 in Bethlehem, Pa.  The Community Foundation will also announce $50,000 in Spark Grants during the program. The media is invited to attend this event which is by invitation and not open to the public.

Dent will be joined by World War II Veteran Major Nathan Kline, United States Air Force, and Veteran Nicholas Ward who served in the United States Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The program, sponsored by Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley, is the sixth and final in the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation’s 50th anniversary Spark Grants celebrations.

After the keynote presentation, the Community Foundation will award a total of $50,000 in grants to the five organizations selected as finalists, that are addressing veterans affairs issues in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

Bernie Story, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, will present the grant awards.  The five finalists are:

· Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley | Food Access for Veterans

· Equi-librium | Horsemanship for Heroes

· Lehigh Valley Health Network | Military and Veteran Resource/Information Center

· Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council | LVMAC Veterans Homelessness Programs

· Victory House of Lehigh Valley | Veteran Aftercare Services Program

See the videos from the five finalists at:

About Congressmen Dent

Congressman Charlie DentCharlie Dent was first sworn in to the United States House of Representatives in January 2005. He is currently serving his seventh-term. He represents Pennsylvania’s 15th District, which includes all or parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Congressman Dent currently serves as the Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for the House Appropriations Committee. He also serves on the Appropriation Committee's Subcommittees on State and Foreign Operations and on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

A life-long Lehigh Valley resident, Dent is a 1978 graduate of William Allen High School. He earned a degree in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Lehigh University in 1993. Dent served eight years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and six years in the State Senate.

About Major Nathan Kline

Major Nathan KleinMajor Nathan Kline has 42 years of active and ready reserve time, and is now retired from the U.S. Air Force.  He enlisted in the USAAF on November 6, 1942.  From March 1944 through April 1945 he flew 65 bombing missions in World War II’s European Theater of Operations as a bombardier/navigator in B-26 Marauders.

Kline has been recognized with many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross; the French Legion of Honor; and the Air Medal, with one Silver Oak Leaf cluster and 4 Bronze Oak Leaf clusters.  He has been nominated for the Presidential Citizens Medal and a tribute to Major Kline was read into the Congressional Record.

Presently, Kline is liaison to the military for the city of Allentown.  He is a founding member and President Emeritus of the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council.  He serves on several nonprofit boards, and he is known and respected by professional and philanthropic organizations worldwide.  Kline is an Allentown native, attended Muhlenberg College, and continues to reside in the Lehigh Valley.

About Nicholas Ward

Nicholas Ward joined the U.S. Army shortly after the September 11th attacks. He was stationed mostly in Germany with three combat deployments in support of the global war on terrorism. He was honorably discharged after seven and a half years of service. After leaving the military he was employed as a government contractor in the Washington D.C. area.

In 2013, Nick and his wife Jennifer, a Bethlehem native, purchased a small cleaning company based out of Fleetwood, Pa.  Ward has grown the company from 16 to 85 employees and expanded its service territory.  The company is federally registered as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.

About the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For five decades, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF is a philanthropic hub for the Lehigh Valley—who know and navigate the landscape of the Lehigh Valley’s community needs to connect people who care to causes that matter.

With a diverse and respected Board of Governors, the Community Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The Foundation is cause-neutral and supports all areas of community needs in in the Lehigh Valley and beyond in compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. To learn more, visit: