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World Of Care Gala
Greater APG Community Rallies to Support Fisher House

December 2014
Left to right: Tamera Rush, Debra McCollum, Brian Gawne, Alyssa M. Ranson and Rick Simis.

Left to right: Tamera Rush, Debra McCollum, Brian Gawne, Alyssa M. Ranson and Rick Simis.

The Chesapeake Support Our Heroes Foundation’s 10th fundraiser, titled, “A World Of Care Gala,” raised $154,000 for the Fisher House, a foundation providing financial support and resident facilities for severely wounded soldiers and their families throughout the world.

The evening began at the velvet roped entrance in the stunning Waters Edge Events Center and continued with the red carpeted walkway where guests were greeted by Kathy Kage, President, Chesapeake Support our Heroes Foundation, who offered guests a complimentary photo in front of the gala’s event backdrop.

Well represented in the 300-plus attendees were Aberdeen Proving Ground senior military leaders (MG Bruce Crawford, Commander APG and CECOM, with his wife Dianne), area business owners, state and local politicians, the most senior leadership of the nation’s leading defense contractors (for example, CACI’s CEO and COO in attendance), and the many professional organizations supporting APG – AFCEA, AUSA, Society of Old Crows, the NMTC and more.

Strong Voluteer Group
Many were pleased to point out the traditions of this event, cultivated at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., prior to BRAC, are now fully planted in the hearts of the greater APG community. Now, these embraced traditions of our now assimilated and energized volunteer group raised $1.75 million to date for the Fisher House, including the above mentioned $154,000

Add to that, additional evening’s donations from people in the local community – $2,200 raised by the local Lion’s Club “Cycling For Heroes” and the Edgewood area’s Olivia’s Lemonade Stand, who raised $110. Olivia, not yet a teenager, was there to present the large size check … almost as tall as her. Brian Gawne, VP Operations for the Fisher House, gratefully accepted her check and all the other generous donations.

Why Fisher House?
The Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major U.S. military and VA medical centers worldwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves.

In total, there are 63 centers, double from 10 years ago, and locally, we have three Fisher House locations: the Malcolm Grow Clinics & Surgery Center, Andrews AFB, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, and Walter Reed at Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring.

It should be noted, for your encouraged donations, the Fisher House Foundation has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charities for the 10th consecutive year. Only 1 percent of the 1,000,000 charities in the United States receive at least 10 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

The Gala
The Waters Edge Events Center went out of their way to provide a flawless evening – from delicious themed food stations generously located thoughout its two levels, a southwestern motif bar outside on the water view veranda, to the DJ and dance area, special rooms for silent auction items, and available art for sale, presented by the artists themselves.

On a more poignant note, the event acknowledged the passing of Diane Carnes and MG Harry Greene. Diane was a founding “Mother” of the gala, originally at Ft. Monmouth and Celebrating Military Traditions, and MG Greene, who served here at Aberdeen Proving Ground and in Afghanistan.

Donations to the Fisher House may be made at I95