SOT – AZ kicks off Veterans Week Fundraising Events

Jeff Jones

Our Veterans Day golf tournament/annual fundraising week began with our Military Appreciation Dinner, Canned Food Drive, Bake Sale and Live Auction on November 5. Over 140 attendees enjoyed a wonderful evening honoring ou.eterans and other distinguished guests. Some of our Robso.eterans displayed memorabilia from their military service, which enhanced the program. The evening kicked off with the USMC Junior ROTC Color Guard from Casa Grande Union HS. The National Anthem was followed by a shor.ideo documenting th.isit many SOT-AZ members and friends took this past summer to Normandy, France commemorating D-Day. This was especially poignant as this was followed by .ideo of WWII arm.eteran Donald Wallace Weil being interviewed at the WWII War Memorial in Washington, DC about his experience on the battlefield in Normandy. Mr. Weil was then introduced as our honored guest at which point the entire room erupted into a standing ovation. Gerard Wittman presented Mr. Weil with a special pen that bore the design of an American flag and the inscription “God Bless America.” The pen was handcrafted from a shell casing by our own Jim Price. T.iew Mr. Weil’s interview go to:

Casa Grande Veteran Center Director Kim Rodriguez addressed the crowd giving an emotional overview of how important SOT-AZ is to the success of thi.ery busy center, singling out our Veterans Services Committee Chairman Art Boren as an incredible SOT-AZ partner helping Pinal Count.eterans with housing, food, clothing and many other needs throughout the year.

We were also honored to have in attendance our first V.A.L.O.R. (Veteran And Loved Ones Relief) scholarship recipient, Alejandra Cano, a student at Central Arizona College, who has plans to continue her education to eventually become a mental health nurse practitioner.

Following the wonderful buffet dinner the bake sale experienced a flurry of last minute bidding on over 55 mouth-watering items. Jane Khilstrom and her stable of talented bakers made this a true highlight of the evening.

The live auction got underway with a wid.ariety of items including artwork, luxur.acation accommodations, rounds of golf, landscaping, two custom golf carts, a river cruise and many other wonderful items provided by our generous local businesses and Robson Ranch residents.

This was .ery emotional and special evening for those who were fortunate enough to experience it. At the time of this writing the Par-3 Golf Tournament, the Veterans Day Golf Tournament and Raffle Basket winners were yet to be determined. The success of these events always depends on our generous donors.olunteers and participants. Support Our Troops – Arizona greatly appreciates everyone involved. The January issue of the Robson Ranch Views will have the final results of the golf tournaments and all other events with acknowledgment of all sponsors and donors.

Support Our Troops – Arizona is currently offering lifetime memberships for $25 per person or $5 per person for an annual membership. Contact Art Boren at 408-644-1400.