Fisher House Foundation was privileged to kick off Veterans Day weekend with a special gala to give back to our military and their families. Friday, November 9, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa Presents: A Salute to Fisher House - an evening to raise awareness and funds for the eighth Fisher House in San Antonio at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. In 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs opened a new state-of-the-art Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center on the Campus of the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital and soon the community and Foundation knew how necessary a Fisher House was to support the family members of those injured service members.
The Salute to Fisher House Gala was an evening to honor military service members and their families who are recovering from the affects of war. The evening was hosted by television personality and Fisher House trustee and friend, Montel Williams. Mr. Williams spent 22 years in the military before becoming a successful talk-show host, author, entrepreneur and health advocate. At one point in the evening, Mr. Williams went into the audience and spoke to family and wounded warriors about their injuries and how Fisher House was able to support them and their family. Their response: Having your family with you during the recovery process is priceless.
Fisher House Foundation was honored to have such supporters of the Foundation in the audience, including our many wonderful sponsors, current and former Fisher House managers, wounded warriors and their families who have been affected by the Fisher House program, and so many other friends. Gala attendees were also treated to special messages from Texas Governor Rick Perry, actor Bruce Willis, and even a message from President George W. Bush.
The Gala evening also included remarks from Arthur Coulombe, General Manager of the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa; Major General Angela Salinas, USMC, Director of Manpower Management Division; General Retired Norton Schwartz, former Chief of Staff for the United States Air Force; General Retired Richard Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; special guests and former Fisher House residents Army Staff Sergeant Charles "Chaz" and Jessica Allen; and Chester Brandes, President and CEO of Sobieski Vodka (Imperial Brands, Inc.).
The title sponsor of the gala, Mr. Brandes and Timo Sutinen, VP of Marketing and Business Development for Sobieski Vodka made a special check presentation to the Foundation in support of the mission to serve military and their families.
After the gala program concluded, A Salute to Fisher House ended with an amazing musical performance by country music star, Rodney Atkins. The intimate and uplifting show was the perfect way to end such a tremendous evening in support of our wounded warriors and their families. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a memorable evening in support of our greatest national treasure, our military and their loved ones.