The Ohio Veterans Foundation, an offshoot of VVA’s Buckeye State Council, has sold more than 12,000 copies of a 24-page children’s coloring book, raising about $14,000. Buyers include other VVA chapters and the state’s County Veteran Services Offices, which distribute them at local elementary schools, county fairs and community outreach events. The coloring book is in its third printing.
Rick Price, a member of Chapter 55 in Newark, Ohio, originally conceived of the coloring book to promote patriotism among elementary school students. Once Price — a former educator who did two tours in Vietnam as a U.S. Navy Seabee — had drawn 30 illustrations, fellow Chapter 55 member (and then-Buckeye State Council Vice President) John Stoner suggested that the State Council should use the book as a fundraising tool.
“We think it’s a really great tool for promoting patriotism,” Stoner told the VVA Veteran. “We’ve had several other veterans service organizations contact us to buy copies.”
After serving more than 20 years in the military, Price returned earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education before teaching high school-level drafting. He then earned a Ph.D. in education, and supervised adult education for the Ohio Department of Education, and went on to teach at Ohio State University and Kent State University before retiring in 1998.
The success of the coloring book has helped fund scholarships and donations to Texan VVA chapters following Hurricane Harvey. Stoner envisions big things for the foundation, citing its mission to maintain and preserve the legacy of Vietnam veterans. “Our main emphasis is always going to be passing our story along to future generations,” he said. “There are kids all over this country who can get educational value out of this.”
To oder a cooling book, go to ohioveteransfoundation.org or call 614-227-0196.