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MG Harry Greene Aberdeen Chapter Holds Gala Supporting Fisher House Foundation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We held our Annual Gala supporting the Fisher House Foundation and all that they do for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and their families.  The Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. No one, two, or even ten Chapter Activity Reports can capture the importance and magnitude of what our small group of volunteers did in planning and executing an event this large let me go into detail. 

Planning for this year’s event started months ago.  Planning sessions were held throughout the year.  For the purposes of this reporting period, they were held on, 11 July, 24 July, 11 August, 14 August, 11 September, 18 September, and 22 September.  There may have been more but those are the ones that I can recall.  The gala was held on 23 September at the Water’s Edge Event Center here locally.  This was the 13th Annual event of its kind.  The community here has been recognized by the Foundation with its Patriot Award.  There was a non-profit organization that used to hold the event but when it folded, we stepped in to take the lead and to keep the tradition going.  This involved bringing teams from many other organizations such as AFCEA, AAAA, AOC, SCRA, and CCRA together as one.  This year’s theme was a “Blue Jean Ball” with the intent to change things around a bit and go a little less formal.  The event was well attended by individuals and leaders throughout the area. 

The volunteer team were recognized as a group during the short program that we had.  These were the individuals who rolled up their sleeves and went about the planning throughout the year and the execution of the plan that night.  Having said that, no team can work efficiently without leaders.  There were three key players behind the scenes leading, managing, and making things work.  They are Deanna Hoppe, Deanna Ohwevwo, and Kathy Kage.  Without them, this event would not have happened.

We were pleased to have Ms. Gillian Gonzalez from the Foundation in attendance and she was kind enough to meet all of our sponsors and leaders.  This included MG Randy and Lucas Taylor.  My son David and I, some youngsters who accompanied their parents, Janice Chance (President of the Maryland Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers), Karen Holt from the Harford County Office of Economic Development, and Chris Buser representing the VA Medical Center in Perry Point, MD which is scheduled to get its own Fisher House in 2019.  I don’t think that would be happening had not been for the work of everyone in this community supporting the Foundation over the past 13 years. 

Where thrilled to present Gillian with a check for $114,000 representing donations from this communities corporate leaders, local organizations, ticket sales, and basket donations.

As with any military event of its kind, we took a moment out to remember our fallen comrades and those who are still missing.  Through the generosity of CSM(R) Fred Posadas, we were able to have the United States, Maryland, and all the service flags present.  One of our many volunteers sang our national anthem in a very beautiful manner that made of us proud. 

A call went out to the community asking for baskets that can raffled/bid on to raise funds for the foundation that evening.  As always, the community came through in an incredible manner.  There was a wide variety of baskets donated.  Soliciting, tracking, organizing, and presenting this wonderful donations was no easy task.  Fortunately, we had a great volunteer (Earl Noble) who took charge and got it all done.  We also had membership point of contact (Jake Jachens), an award winning photographer of bald eagles, donate some of his work for the bidding.   

We were pleased to continue to see members of the APG senior leadership team continuing to support the event.  Those in attendance included MG Randy Taylor (CG CECOM), Mr. Gary (PEO C3T), MG Kirk Vollmecke (PEO IEW&S), and MG Cedric Wins (CG RDECOM). 

I mentioned that this was hard work.  This wasn’t just an event where people showed up and had fun.  The decorations alone took an incredible amount of time to  plan for, create, and then set up to make the venue look incredible. 

There was also a lot of fun had by all.  

This was an incredible night where we raised some good money to help the Fisher House Foundation as they continue to take care of Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and their families.  I was very proud of our team.