Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 11:26 am | Updated: 11:31 am, Tue Nov 10, 2015.

KEARNEY — Nebraska Veterans First wants to make sure residents at the new Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home feel welcome.

“The goal in forming Nebraska Veterans First was first to raise awareness of the needs of veterans in central Nebraska. Secondly, we want to offer a sustainable source of funding to assist the new Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home in providing the amenities our veterans deserve for a great quality of life,” said Marion McDermott, president of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.

NVF is a volunteer board managed by veterans for veterans.

The group works to raise awareness and funds for activities and items not generally supported by taxpayer dollars. “Anything that is not in the standard operating budget,” Darren Robinson, president of the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, said.

Examples are stocking the fish pond, fishing poles, ceramic and woodshop supplies, the chapel and any amenities that enhance the veterans’ quality of life.

“Our sole goal is to provide the best housing, care and services to our veterans to pay them back for their services,” said Bob Harpst, vice chair of the board and a veteran of the Army National Guard.

A fundraising soup supper will be from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Dec. 3. at the American Legion at 1223 Central Ave. during Give Where You Live. The supper raised $3,500 last year.

NVF will also be represented in the Veterans Day Parade at 2 p.m. Saturday in downtown Kearney.

Construction for the Kearney veterans home is scheduled to begin April 2016 at 56th Street and Cherry Avenue. The $120 million project will include 11 structures in six neighborhoods, a chapel, a library, a woodshop, a clinic and a pharmacy.

Those interested in fundraising can contact McDermott at mmcdermott@kearneycoc.org or 237-3101.

For more information, visit nebraskaveteransfirst.org.