By: Megan Roche
As winter comes to an end, people are itching to breakout those lawn chairs and blankets, longing for days of sunny weather and blue skies. On May 3 (raindate: May 17), head out to Roxbury’s Horseshoe Lake for a day of fun that benefits the greater community of homeless veterans.
Rich Goldberg, the mastermind behind Vetfest, was looking for a way to continue his efforts in helping the state’s homeless veteran population. Through his work volunteering for Community Hope, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Goldberg has come to know many veterans throughout the area who have simply fallen on hard times. With a passion for music as well, Goldberg combined the two and decided on a concert to benefit them. The first ever Vetfest was held in 2019 and was a major success, raising over $24,000.
On May 3, beginning at 12:00 noon, Horseshoe Lake at Succasunna will be grooving, all for a good cause. Vetfest has the best of food trucks and talent coming together to help New Jersey’s homeless veterans. Goldberg is encouraging families to come and spend the day, with lawn chairs and blankets in tow.
“Hang out for the day, there is going to be so much there to do for kids and adults. This is all about our veterans. The important thing is to give these vets who have given so much for us, we want to give them a great day, all while raising money to support them. To be able to give them a great afternoon, just like anyone else coming out, that’s what we ultimately want to do.” Goldberg stated proudly.
At the time this article was written, bands were still signing up to come and donate their time with a performance. Currently scheduled are The Frontiers, a Journey tribute band, A Brothers Revival, an Allman Brothers tribute band, Sensational Soul Cruisers, a Motown and R&B band, The Best of the Eagles, an Eagles tribute band, and New York State of Mind, a Billy Joel tribute band.
“I’ve gotten to know so many of these veterans throughout our area. These veterans are humble people and grateful people. All they want to do is get back on their feet, and if we can give them a little step up, a little assistance, that’s really what it’s all about. They did their job and went out and served and did everything for us, and now what I ask people to do, is just to come out and have a fun day.” Goldberg said.
Food trucks include; the Empanada Truck, Cubano X-Press, Kona Ice, Jersey Rollz, Clubhouse Dogs, Cas’s Polish Food, Thai Food Addict, Bearded One BBQ, and Wood Fired Pizza. There will also be free entertainment for the kiddies in the family with bounce houses. Tickets are on sale for early bird pricing until April 15th. Early bird prices are $10 for adults, $6 for children, and $25 per family. Ticket pricing after April 15th are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $35 per family.
An important part of the event, for Goldberg, is allowing children and families to meet some of the folks who benefit from those who attend. There will be plenty of veterans and veteran related organizations present on the day of the event to offer insight and information so bring as many questions as you’d like.
“My dad taught me that when you see someone in uniform, you thank them. My son is 16 and he will not see a servicemember without walking up to them and saying thank you. I wish everybody would teach their kids to respect and honor them because without them, we have nothing.” Goldberg said.
Can’t make it to the event? Donations are always appreciated and 100% of donations go back toward helping members of the military get settled after returning from war. Overall, Goldberg just hopes that he can help as many veterans as possible.
For more information on VetFest, to donate or to purchase tickets, visit www.vetfestnj.com.