Blue Star Card program receives large monetary donation
October 12, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - A $50,000 donation was presented to the Blue Star Card program, here, Friday, during a ceremony at the Nehelani.
The Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to military families in need, provided the donation, which will be used to provide discounts and activities for spouses and families of combat deployed Soldiers.
Currently, 1,040 cardholders and 1,938 children are enrolled in the Blue Star Card program, run by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.
Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, U.S. Army-Hawaii, and Sarah Chadwick, USAG-HI's Blue Star Card coordinator, accepted the donation on behalf of all Army families in Hawaii who have loved ones deployed overseas.
Theresa Johnson, manager, Fisher House, located at Tripler Army Medical Center, presented the check on behalf of the Fisher House Foundation.
"I'm very honored to be here today to speak on behalf of the foundation," said Johnson, during the ceremony. "The idea behind the $50,000 donation was to support families of deployed Soldiers."
Johnson said that David Cocker, president, Fisher House Foundation, views the donation as another means for the foundation to "spread its wings" and to see what other things the foundation can do to support military families.
The Fisher House Foundation, among other philanthropic activities, builds and then donates "comfort houses," where families of military personnel can stay during a loved one's hospitalization in major military installations and Veterans Affairs medical centers, such as the one at Tripler.
"The foundation wants to take care of our (military) families," Johnson said. "This (donation) is just one of the ways that they can do that."
Terry remarked that he was honored to accept the donation on behalf of all USARHAW Soldiers and families.
"What a wonderful day for the United States Army," he said. "Through this wonderful gift, we can help give something back to our families for the sacrifices they make every day in the defense of this nation."
Terry said that units, commanders, senior spouses and family readiness groups had been polled to help decide how the Blue Star Card program would disburse the donation. The approved list includes a "Super Saturday" respite child care day, free movie passes for children, free or discounted concert tickets, and discounted tickets for attractions on Oahu.
After the ceremony, Chadwick said that one of the most popular requests from Blue Star Card members is for discounted tickets at the Wet'n'Wild Hawaii water park. Chadwick also hopes to get free or discounted tickets for some concerts that will be held later in the year or early next year.
"We're really grateful to the Fisher House Foundation, and we'd like to thank them for providing support to our families," Chadwick said.
The Fisher House Foundation is also donating similar gifts to Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Stewart, Ga.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15647521'title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=c0c0c0" width="450" height="298" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/15647521">Fisher House Donation to Blue Star Card Program, Oct. 1, 2010</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/usaghi">U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>