Montclair, NJ- Verona native Todd Smith, author of the newly released novel, I Pledge Allegiance, announces a fundraising event to benefit homeless veterans., 01/20/2009

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For Immediate Release

For further information, please contact: Barry Cohen 973-472-6304

Save the Date: Author Holds Homeless Vet’s Fundraiser Feb 22

Montclair, NJ- Verona native Todd Smith, author of the newly released novel, I Pledge Allegiance, announces a fundraising event to benefit homeless veterans. Smith authored the book to raise awareness of the problem, to raise funds for a charity that benefits the homeless veteran population and to encourage legislators to make governmental assistance available for these deserving individuals.

Several area business owners have enthusiastically agreed to insure the event is a success. Larry Smith and Ricky Roder, owners of the newly opened Artistic Illuminations on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, have graciously offered to host the event in their store. Chris Calvanese of Verona and Bob Gizzi, a music teacher from Cedar Grove, will play live music at the February 22 fundraiser. CMS Midatlantic, owner and operator of five New Jersey cemeteries, has agreed to underwrite the event. CMS’s CEO Buzz Stoecklein has committed his company to a special veterans’ program, offering free interment spaces to veterans at his properties. Catering will be provided by local area restaurants.

Smith’s novel traces a fictional character’s journey from the Viet Nam War back to the U.S., as he slips through the cracks of the system, ending up homeless on the streets of Washington DC. Wheelchair bound, he lives on handouts. Smith researched the work intensely, relying heavily on a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The report indicated that 26% of the U.S. homeless population are veterans. On any given night, 195,000 U.S. veterans go homeless. Smith hopes to help remedy that situation through his efforts.

The novel has already been the subject of an interview slated for airing on RNN-TV (Regional News Network), as well as a front page story in the Morristown, NJ “Daily Record”, an upcoming article in the February issue of New Jersey Business magazine and has already received a 5 star review. According to Mathew Miglin PhD. an author, entrepreneur and veteran himself after reading the I Pledge Allegiance stated, “This is truly a life changing book. It will challenge every American to think, contemplate and be provoked to see our country come back to what so many gave their lives for. It is up to us to do our part.”

Tickets for the February 22 fundraiser, scheduled for 2-5 PM in Montclair, are available through emailing and placing in the subject heading February 22 Event, the author’s website (, or at Artistic Illuminations, 544 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. Attendees will receive an autographed copy of Smith’s novel, included in the $40. ticket price. Space is limited. Proceeds will go to Community Hope, ( a Parsippany-based organization that has provided housing assistance for homeless veterans since 2004. More than 260 veterans have benefitted from the program, to date. Executive Director J. Michael Armstrong thanked Smith “For dedicating the proceeds of this event to benefit the homeless veterans in our Hope for Veterans Program, and for helping to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness among those who have served our country.” U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen has praised Community Hope’s achievements. Local officials and veterans’ group leaders will be on hand to support the effort, as well.

More information on the novel and the author including where to purchase the book can be found at

More articles about the book and the author

Verona-Cedar Grove TIMES: Homeless Veterans topic of new books
Verona-Cedar Grove TIMES: Editorial: Promoting cold, hard facts through fiction
Daily Record: Boonton author’s book tells story of homeless vet
Daily Record: Boonton author aiding benefit for homeless vets Author Holds Homeless Vet’s Fundraiser Feb 22