Fort Rucker AER campaign raises $137,000
Fort Rucker Garrison Commander Col. Yvette Kelley presents AER Officer Sharon Coley with a donation check for $137,019.82 at the AER Campaign Closing Ceremony May 24.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Three months of fundraising events proved successful for the Army Emergency Relief fund as this year's annual campaign raised $137,019.82 between March 1 and May 15.

AER Campaign Coordinator Capt. Justin Barnes expressed his gratitude to those who donated money or time to the cause at the 2010 AER Campaign Closing Ceremony May 24 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.

"Without the collective efforts of everyone involved, this wouldn't have been possible," Barnes said. "We really appreciate all the help from Soldiers, Families and members of the local community."

Garrison Commander and AER Campaign Chairman Col. Yvette Kelley emphasized the importance of the program and its continued presence here.

"This year has been a tremendous success for AER," Kelley said. "I'm very proud of the team we have."

Sharon Coley, Financial Readiness Program manager for Army Community Service and AER officer, was on hand to accept the check on behalf of AER.

"I'm really excited about all the effort the Fort Rucker community has put into this," she said. "This shows great community support for the cause."

Last year, AER managed to raise about $121,000. While Coley was happy about the increase, she wants people to know it's not just about the money.

"The goal is to get the message out there," she said. "Of course we want to raise as much as we can and we're grateful for every penny, but we really want people to know just how important it is."

Another major donation at Monday's ceremony came from the U.S. Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union. Ken Long, vice president of compliance and loss prevention for USAACFCU, presented a check for $20,000 to AER.

"We're very happy to do this," Long said. "It's a good cause and we're very grateful for and proud of what our Soldiers do for us."

AER is a private, nonprofit organization incorporated in 1942 by the Secretary of War and the Army Chief of Staff. Its mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to Soldiers and their Families for things such as food, rent and utilities, transportation and vehicle repair, funeral expenses, medical expenses and college scholarships.

Those wishing to make a donation or find out more about AER, can call 255-2341.

Page last updated Thu May 27th, 2010 at 13:31