New organization supports those who have served

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

A group of area community members recently formed a new non-profit organization with the goal of providing support for those who have served our communities such as corrections officers, military members, police and dispatch fire and rescue, and emergency medical services as well as their family members. The organization is called Life After Service or LAS for short and is operating currently out of Appleton and serving the counties surrounding including Chippewa. 

Six individuals from around the local area make up the board including president Quinton Lhotka, brother of Jesse Lhotka of Appleton who lost his life in Afghanistan, and treasurer Ben Dolan who serves the Montevideo community as the Community and Business Development Specialist. The group is planning several events to raise money and awareness to help assist people with life after services. Support services the group plans to offer can range from helping a Veteran with a job interview to donating to other non-profits with similar goals. “It’s very broad it’s just we want to be an organization that raises money or brings awareness to the need for mental health for these service members after their service is complete. it’s a mechanism to raise money and then donate to like-minded 501(c3) organizations,” says Dolan. 

Dolan says the organization was formed because the board members had a similar viewpoint about what services were needed in the area. “All of the members of the board have been very passionate about mental health in our area and especially service members. We have them do essential work for us but sometimes they’re not taken care of afterward or not given enough help to help deal with some of the stuff they saw or did. Those jobs can be traumatic, but they’re very essential so we also need to support them,” Dolan says. “It’s about doing good things for your community and we feel we should be able to help people who have helped us. This is something that affects us all and mental health for everybody is underfunded.”

The group has multiple events coming up this summer including a spaghetti feed at Shooter’s Bar in Appleton on May 27th, a motorcycle run on July 21st, and a Battle of the Bands in August. To find out more information about the organization and its upcoming events, visit them on social media at facebook.com/livesafterservice