It’s that time of year again to begin fundraising for the Los Banos veterans parade. About seven years ago, it was decided to focus on one big fundraiser that had a $500 Grand Prize of a literal ‘shopping spree’ at SaveMart, plus we had a few other prizes for other winners.

We gave the fundraiser the name “Grocery Grab” and it was a highlight for a few years. Due to COVID and liability reasons, the “mad dash” through the store no longer was possible; however, we kept the catchy fundraiser name.

As chairperson of the Los Banos veterans parade, I am excited to announce that the seventh annual Grocery Grab fundraiser has begun and tickets are available for purchase.

So, what are the prizes this year?

The grand prize is a $500 Save Mart gift card. The second winner will receive a $300 gift certificate to Espanas Southwest Bar & Grill. The third winner will be awarded a $250 gift certificate to Biggins Texas BBQ. Eight free car washes from Los Banos Car Wash will be given to the fourth winner.

As the community is aware, this business recently had a fire closing the facility. If they do not reopen by the time of the drawing on July 9, we will substitute the prize for a Visa gift card based on the value of the car washes.

Tickets will be available for $5 per ticket or $20 for five.

The members of both Posts are selling tickets or you can contact Chairperson Patricia McCoy at

209-587-5033, VFW Commander Michael Hughes at 209-704-5301 or American Legion Commander, Alan Cotta at 209-769-7772.

On the other hand, there was an excellent article in the Westside Express in last week’s issue written by Kristina Solomita. This is a reminder that today, April 24, there will be an Open House for the ATLAS program, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will begin with a ceremony at 11:30 a.m., a lunch at noon (courtesy of the VFW and American Legion), followed by tours and demonstrations. Veterans can also take advantage of other resources that will be available to them at this event.

Patricia McCoy

Patricia McCoy is a US Air Force veteran and the chairperson of the Los Banos Veterans Parade. She can be reached at (209) 587-5033.