Donation for veterans

A local workout instructor is looking to brighten the day of some veterans in need.

Kelly Weirich, a coach at PowerFit in Union, led an exercise class Saturday, Feb. 22, where more than 40 people helped raise $1,008. The event also brought in personal care products. Each participant was asked to make a donation and received a free T-shirt.

The money and products were donated Thursday, Feb. 27, to the Sons of the American Legion Post 297, which plans to distribute it to veterans suffering from spinal injuries at the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis.

“I directed it, but it was a bunch of people who donated,” Weirich said at the check presentation at American Legion Post 297 in Union.

Weirich spearheaded the class after being inspired by WOD 22, a nationwide exercise initiative to help end veteran suicide.

Suicide is a crucial issue among veterans with spine injuries, said Jim LaVenture, Sons of the American Legion commander. The group visits the VA medical center twice a week and the St. James Veterans Home once a week.

Assistance from people like Weirich is crucial, LaVenture said.

“Without their support, we can’t make this happen,” he said. “We can’t provide what we want to these people.”

Anyone interested in donating, can contact LaVenture at