‘Toast the Troops’ Wine Tasting, Silent Auction Benefits VFW Programs

Nearly $2,000 was raised

The insurance broker IMA of Kansas sponsored its first annual “Toast the Troops” wine tasting and silent auction at Stone Pillar Winery in Olathe, Kan.  Guests were asked to either bring items for care packages or $10 as an entry fee, all to be donated to two VFW programs.  

The entry fee money and care items were donated to Lenexa, Kan., VFW Post 7397’s Platoons Forward program. The program provides comfort items to deployed troops in remote regionsin Iraq and Afghanistan who don’t have access to facilities such as mess halls and post exchanges.  

Proceeds from the silent auction were donated to VFW’s Operation UplinkTM program. The program provides two designated days each month when deployed troops can call the U.S. and landlines in other U.S. home base countries for free. Since 2006 the program has provided more than 5.5 million free connections for service members and their families.   

Local businesses contributed a variety of items for the silent auction. Spa and wellness gift certificates, autographed sports memorabilia and weekend getaways were just some of the items available to bid on.   

More than 50 guests attended the event, raising over $400 for the Platoons Forward program and over $1,500 for Operation Uplink.   

Following the event, IMA representatives Jason Brandenburg and Stephanie Spradling presented the $1,500 check for Operation Uplink to VFW National Headquarters Adjutant General, Allen “Gunner” Kent. 

“We are glad that our first event was so successful and hope to make it even bigger and better next year.  We are proud to be able to give back a little to those men and women who serve our country and keep us safe,” said Brandenburg.