A holiday party for area veterans and their families who are housed thanks to a program aimed at eliminating homelessness among vets will take place Friday.

A holiday party for area veterans and their families, who are housed thanks to a program aimed at eliminating homelessness among vets, will take place Friday, Dec. 14. The party will be at Canandaigua VA Medical Center’s Mount Hope Transition Center, 1867 Mount Hope Ave., Rochester. The center provides housing vouchers for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This fifth-annual holiday party for will go from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The party is supported by the local branch of the national nonprofit, Blue Star Mothers.

Canandaigua VA volunteers donate money for the party to buy fresh fruit, veggie trays, a variety of subs, holiday cookies and cakes. This year Pizza 4 Patriots is donating 15 sheet pizzas to the cause. Pizza 4 Patriots started in 2008 in Chicago by Mark Evans, who sent Chicago style pizzas to the troops who were serving in the Middle East. Evans and his wife, Gail, and their son continue to deliver pizzas to 45 VA's nationwide for special events honoring vets.

The local Blue Star Mothers Chapter 1 adopted 10 families and 20 single male veterans who are in stable housing but have very little money to live on. The Transitional Housing staff provided the Blue Star Mothers with holiday wish lists of each veteran and family members including children. Veterans will receive a holiday gift card so they can select their own holiday dinner meat and assorted side dishes and purchase items from their holiday wish list. Veterans are also given stockings stuffed with personal hygiene items by Canandaigua VA volunteers. About forty Veterans and their families attend the event. This year a grandmother assisting in raising her grandchildren and a female veteran with her newborn are expected to attend the holiday celebration.

Blue Star Mothers is a private nonprofit organization in the United States that provides support for mothers who have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.