Disco party raises money to house homeless vets

Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 10:19 PM EST
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More than 37,000 veterans nationwide have no place to call home. But a local group is trying to change that, one disco party at a time.

Usually it's a summer event, but this year they're mixing it up a bit.

For the first time, the

disco party is happening inside. About 1,500 people packed the SeaGate Centre on Friday to enjoy 80s and early 90s music while raising money to help house homeless veterans in our community.

The dance floor was full of people grooving to tunes while decked out in costume. Others were snapping pictures at the photo booth.

"Party with a purpose," said Denny Schaffer.

Prior to his radio career on 93.5 WRQN, Denny Schaffer was a nightclub DJ. This disco party is about being a hero for our country's heroes, a message that resonates with him.

"My father was in Korea and I got uncles that were Marines, and my great grandfather was in WW2. It's so many in my family. My nephew was a Marine and I've been around the military my entire life," said Schaffer.

Ken Leslie is passionate about his work at Veterans Matter. To date, nearly 3,500 veterans are off the streets thanks to his organization. The most powerful part for him Friday, was the

sitting at table 22.

"That's in memory of every single one of the 22 veterans that kill themselves every single day and a lot of those who do are the veterans who are homeless on the streets who have given up hope," said Leslie.

Charlie Bone is the president of that motorcycle club.

"V for veteran is the 22nd letter of the alphabet on top of the fact that we have those 22 members a day that commit suicide and we want to stomp that out," said Bone.

Her served more than two decades in the Air Force and now on the road, he goes by "Torqz."

"It's a great honor to be able to come out here and support what they're doing and be able to give back to our veterans that don't have it as fortunate as we have it," said Bone.

Keeping track of just how many veterans are homeless is a point Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz addressed at the State of the City Thursday when talking about the importance of the census.

"There is something that bothers me more than anything else is veterans who put their lives on the line for our country, who come back to the this country and find themselves homeless," said Kapszukiewicz

"When you find out, you know, there so many homeless veterans and they can't get the benefits until they get an address until they get a home. So, we help provide that," said Schaffer.

This was the 5th Denny's Disco Party and over the years just from this event alone 371 local veterans have been housed. That proves this truly is a party with a purpose.