By Michael V. Hannigan
The Henderson County area has a habit of stepping up when it comes to veterans.
The latest example was last week's Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation (CCVF) golf tournament to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation. The event raised $11,000, according to CCVF board member Gayle Robinson.
"It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," she said. "I found out how this area could work together in a united effort for our military and veterans."
According to information from the Fisher House Foundation, "A Fisher House is a 'home away from home' for families of patients receiving medical care at major medical and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available."
There are currently 45 Fisher Houses and since the program's inception in 1990, more than 130,00 people have been served with over 3 million days of lodging offered saving families more than $150 million.
Fisher Houses are actually run by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the individual branches of the military. Fisher House Foundation raises money to build more houses and support existing houses. The Fisher House Foundation received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator that said nearly 95 percent of money donated to the foundation goes directly to the program rather than administration.
In addition to the golf tournament, the CCVF also held "From Texas to Tinseltown," a gala featuring the actor Jae Head. The event was put together by Judy Lee, Karen Boyd, Eileen Buis and Linda Thompson of the CCVF.
The 13-year-old Head, who portrayed S.J. in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Blind Side," passed up the MTV Movie Awards to be in Henderson County. The connection to the lake area comes through Robinson, whose daughter is friends with Head's mother.
"I thought I would contact her and see if they would come to give the Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation support in our fund raising," said Robinson, "I emailed her and got a response back saying Jae would be honored to do what ever we want to help the veterans and military."
The group gave special thanks to its event sponsors: Brookshires; Malakoff Family Pharmacy; Steve Grant Realty; Sue Stalcup Realtor; Gilbert & Jones; First State Bank; Tri-County Ford; Elder Chrysler Dodge; Cedar Creek Carpet; Tim & Rhynda Gilliam; Groom & Sons; James and Eileen Buis; StoneLeaf Homes of Distinction L.L.C.
Raising money for veterans is nothing new for CCVF, which also contributes to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The group will be presenting its Seventh Annual "Thunder over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show" this July 3 beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending with a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.
The air show honors military aviation with performances by the US Air Force B1 Bomber, a C-17 Cargo Plane, and the group Tora, Tora, Tora with their Japanese fighters and bombers simulating the Pearl Harbor attack. There will also be the Trojan Phlyers T-28 team, a P-39 fighter, B-25 bombers, and an L-29 fighter jet. The show culminates with Randy Ball in his MiG 17 as he demonstrates 600 mile per hour dives into the dusk.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski