Fundraiser for Charity Benefits Veterans on Horizon

Pittsburg's 2nd Annual Kav Fest is around the corner.

Pittsburg's 2nd Annual Kav Fest is around the corner.

By Kimberly Barker kbarker@joplinglobe.comAug 2, 2017

PITTSBURG, Kan. — U.S. Army Maj. Brian Kavanagh, of Pittsburg, was only 37 when he died unexpectedly in 2016, but his wife, Jessica, continues to share their story of perseverance and to assist veterans through their charity,

The second Kav Fest, which honors Brian and raises money for, will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Frisco Event Center, 210 E. Fourth St., in Pittsburg.

The event will include live music, food vendors and a silent auction.

“Kav Fest started because my husband passed away last year on June 28,” Jessica Kavanagh, charity co-founder, said. “We had a big celebration in honor of Brian, and we had a great turnout last year; so we decided to turn it into a yearly event to celebrate his life and to turn it into a fundraiser for the nonprofit that Brian started before he passed away,”

Brian Kavanagh was a graduate of St. Mary’s-Colgan High School and Pittsburg State University. He earned multiple Bronze Stars from his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He left behind his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Meryn and Evelyn.

“From a military perspective, Brian was a brilliant leader, but as far as a person, he was the greatest husband and father to our two girls,” Jessica Kavanagh said. “He was always smiling and laughing. He was so generous with everyone, and loved to live life to the fullest.”

The Kavanaghs' charity aims to provide personalized support to individual combat veterans suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, as well as to the caregivers of these veterans.

The charity was founded as a result of the struggles that Brian and Jessica Kavanagh faced in seeking assistance for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Jessica Kavanagh said, “Brian wanted to start to help veterans get the immediate resources that they needed, whether it was from a benefits perspective or a mental health care perspective. When he passed and I vowed to take it over, I expanded on that to not only help the veterans, but the caregiver as well because a lot of times, we’re left behind, too.”



Tickets for Kav Fest can be obtained through the Kav Fest 2017 Facebook page or by going to and searching for Kav Fest 2017. All of the proceeds will help support veterans and caregivers affected by PTSD. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

Becky Duncan