Annual Pre-Election Breakfast Gets Makeover as Veterans Fundraiser

Julie and Brian Dempsey with Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, during last year’s pre-election breakfast. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill City Councilor Michael S. McGonagle.

When city councilors voted last April to ban roadside charity collections—calling it a safety issue—City Councilor Michael S. McGonagle said he would help make up for the estimated $7,500 veterans groups said they would lose.

The shape and format of an annual veterans fundraising event was unclear back in the spring, McGonagle told WHAV. However, with the resignation of Rep. Brian S. Dempsey and the likely end of his annual pre-election breakfast, an idea emerged.

“When Brian’s situation changed, I thought I would love to take over that breakfast. Use it as a way to celebrate veterans and raise funds,” McGonagle said. When he learned of the idea, Dempsey was very supportive.

McGonagle, working with former City Council President Michael J. Hart and Maureen Menzie, formed a new nonprofit, Veterans Alliance of Greater Haverhill. The first breakfast takes place Sunday, Nov. 5, from 9 to 11 a.m., at AmVets Post 147, 576 Primrose St. It will be free to veterans and seniors and $5 for everyone else, McGonagle said. Businesses will be asked to defray costs with sponsorships.

For the most part, the breakfast should look and feel much like Dempsey’s annual meetings. “Politicians like to speak to constituents the Sunday before an election,” McGonagle explained. Add to that, his sister, long-time Dempsey chief of staff Colleen M. McGonagle will likely be one of the planners. Veteran Service Officer Michael Ingham and Haverhill Veterans Council President Keith Gopsill are expected to join the board of the new nonprofit.

Rest assured, the councilor said, there won’t be political speeches. Veterans will make presentations and there will be prize raffles.

A former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman, McGonagle said he had mixed feelings about banning roadside collections when he knew there were so many needs. But, “As a veteran and public safety chair, I wasn’t comfortable with veterans walking out into the street when the lights changed.”

7 thoughts on “Annual Pre-Election Breakfast Gets Makeover as Veterans Fundraiser

  1. Veterans of this country is certainly not left picking at Crumbs. That’s just categorically false.

    Especially here in Haverhill -but no thanks to Mike ” polish my chair with my ass” Ingram- veterans who need help have it available to them.

    Haverhill has become a hub for veterans housing and the community has several dozen disabled veterans who are receiving compensation benefits, Medical ,Dental, housing assistance ,assistance with transportation Etc.

    Are there examples of problems? Yes there are.

    But I wonder if this is what happens to a Health Care system when we fight Perpetual Wars as a matter of national policy. Just wondering.

    • Veterans certainly are picking up crumbs “in Haverhill” due to the priorities of liberal democrat elected officials.

      Criminal illegals in Haverhill: $13.2Million EVERY year in education costs for their children.
      Criminal illegals in Haverhill: Untold taxpayer subsidized housing throughout the city.
      Criminal illegals in Haverhill: City councilors interfering with Federal Government public safety initiatives in the city.
      Criminal illegals in Haverhill: Significantly increasing the crime rate driving law enforcement costs way up.
      Criminal illegals in Haverhill: Bringing drugs to the city to drive up societal costs exponentially.

      Veteran Groups in Haverhill: Holding fundraisers to raise $7,500.00

  2. Another day in Liberal La La Land of Haverhill. Where logic and common sense is completely upside down.

    Recently a spokesperson for the areas largest Hispanic Advocacy group estimates that 15% of Haverhill’s public school population is made up of children of parents in this country illegally. That means an estimated 1,100 children are getting a free education at a cost of $12,000.00 per year, costing Haverhill taxpayers $13.2MILLION “EVERY” year.

    This is what you get when you elect liberal Democrats. Veterans of this country are left picking at crumbs as a liberal agenda does whatever it can to financially support people who aren’t even citizens of this country.

    Mike McGonagle…as a veteran you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • You don’t have the right to tell veterans how they should they should think or act Jack. You get to spread your vile hatred of the blanket of protection they provided.

      • Notredame: Who are you, Colonal Jessup? So you’re in support of a politician using his veteran status for political purposes “once a year” to gain favor with the very group he supposedly represents and ignoring them the rest of the year, instead supporting people who aren’t even citizens of this country?

        I have every right to tell an “elected” official what they should think and act….especially when their actions are Un-American. Noting is more phony and Un-American than McGonagle using his past military service to support struggling veterans, while he says and does nothing as criminal trespassers in this city illegally are stealing over $13Million a year! BTW…”I don’t give a damn what you think”!

  3. Nice Niki Tsongas picture, a military personnel’s and Veteran’s worst nightmare. There wasn’t a Bill she did not support when it came to sending Americans to the war that will not end – See NDAA. The Third District DoD defense contractors reciprocated her generosity of sending Americans to be injured, die, or come home and commit suicide by stuffing her campaign coffers with money.