Craig Day, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Here in Oklahoma, we're proud of the men and women who've served.
A brand new non-profit group is raising money for veterans and their families. It's based in Tulsa, with big plans of going nationwide.
They're using cigars and steaks to make a difference.
It's a big night in Tulsa. Hundreds of business people are getting together for a special evening of socializing, steaks and smokes.
"It's kind of a man kind of thing. It's a guy thing I guess is the way you'd say it," said volunteer Dave Hail.
It's a fun gathering, but also a patriotic one with a special purpose.
"Oh I think it is wonderful," said World War II Veteran RC Kinzer.
Kinzer says it's wonderful because all of these people are here to raise money for a brand new charity to help veterans.
"We want to step to the plate and say thank you," Hail said.
It's the first cigar and steak night fundraiser to benefit the Relief Fund for American Veterans, a new charity created in Tulsa.
"We had a group of men, who just said what can we do?" Said RFAV Organizer Jim Moore.
They liked cigars and steaks, and each other's company, so they came up with this inaugural fundraiser.
Resource One, a Tulsa company, paid for the steaks, cigars and other expenses. Then business owners paid $1500 per table.
All the money raised, about $100,000 from this event alone, goes to the relief fund, and will be administered to veterans and their families in need by the American Legion.
"We just want to be there for the soldiers that are there for us defending our country," Moore said.
"There are men in harm's way, there are women in harm's way, and they put it all on the line. And it's important for us to never forget that," Hall said.
Plans are in the works to hold similar cigar and steak events nationwide to benefit the relief fund, taking an Oklahoma idea to six cities this year, and 12 the next to make a big difference.
Relief Fund for American Veterans' cigar and steak events are in the works right now for Washington DC, Nashville and Dallas.