(Aberdeen, MD-April 2011) It was renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead who said "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." In fact, Ed Carnes, Vice President of USfalcon (located at Water's Edge) and Chair of the Fisher House Committee for "Support Our Heroes" Ball is leading the charge to do just that.

Seven years ago, several organizations at Fort Monmouth joined together and chose the Fisher House Foundation, Inc. as a way to help soldiers and their families. The entire community joined in and raised over $900,000 in the last six years by holding various events throughout the year culminating with the Military Ball. With Base Realignment and the transition of government and defense contractors moving to Aberdeen, the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) community has decided to continue the tradition. "Support Our Heroes" Military Ball will be held under a tent and beneath the stars on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Fisher House is a network of houses that provide a "home away from home" atmosphere for families of patients receiving care at major military and VA medical centers free of charge. The Foundation also administers "Hero Miles" a program to distribute free airline tickets and various scholarship programs for families of wounded soldiers. The largest concentration of Fisher Houses in the country is located in Maryland with five at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and one at Andrews Air Force Base. These houses alone provide annually over 30,000 nights of lodging to the families of our wounded, ill and injured service members. Fisher House also provides gift cards from local merchants to the families who stay there to ease the financial burden from the extended hospital stays. In the event there are no vacancies, they also pay for commercial lodging. All of this is done with 96 percent of the donated funds going to the charity. Construction for new Fisher House facilities is underway. To learn more about Fisher House, go to: www.fisherhouse.org.

The Heroes Ball Committee is comprised of government, industry and local organization participants who volunteer their time and efforts to make each year's event better than the last. Ed Carnes often refers to committee members as "Heart Corps" volunteers noting, "I am immensely proud of what a fairly small community and dedicated volunteers can achieve."

There are several ways to participate in this event. Numerous sponsorship opportunities exist from being a tent sponsor for $5,000, to sponsoring a soldier and his or her guest for $250. You can purchase an ad in the souvenir program booklet. A silent auction is held during the event and donations such as sports memorabilia, event tickets, overnight stays, lunch or dinner for two, household items or any item or service that your business could offer are all welcomed. Cash donations will also be accepted. All the profits from the event and the cash donations will go directly to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc.

Organizational support for the C4ISR charitable event continues to be strong with the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) Aberdeen and Fort Monmouth Chapters; Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Mid Atlantic Chapter; Association of Old Crows (AOC) Aberdeen and Garden State Chapters; and Association of United States Army (AUSA) Aberdeen and Fort Monmouth Chapters. Area company sponsors as of print submission deadline include CSC, SAIC, General Dynamics C4 Systems, ITT, ManTech, USfalcon, Inc., Harris Corporation, CACI, Future Skies, Ryland Homes and BMW of Bel Air. The goal of the committee for this year's event is to break the $1 million mark in total contributions for this worthy cause.

For Jim Costigan, Site Manager for General Dynamics C4 Systems and long-standing committee member, this Military Ball holds high expectations to increase awareness about Fisher House. He often quotes Ken Fisher, Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation when he reminds people that saying "Thank you for your service is not enough," says Costigan referring to the young men and women in uniform and their families who have made such sacrifices. "Bob Woodward of the Washington Post uses the term 'an epidemic of disconnection' when describing the increasing distance between the small community of military personnel and families who are bearing the burden of war... We believe that this evening can help fight that epidemic. It will really get people's attention and bring them together for a common cause. It is such a patriotic event."
Event highlights for this formal summer evening include dinner and dancing in an air-conditioned tent, cash bar, silent auction, and a performance by the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Chorus from Fort Bragg, NC-not to be missed!

For more information on sponsorships, please contact Kit Roache at kitroache@aol.com, or for donations, contact Cheryl Davidson at cdavidso@harris.com or 443-303-3580. For information on ads for the program booklet, contact Angela Sheldon at 443-402-9102. Tickets for the ball are on sale now at $125 per person. For questions, please contact Katherine Kage at Katherine.kage@mantech.com or 410-273-1705. Participation is encouraged for all area companies and organizations; together let's show our support for our brave soldiers! Visit the event website at www.support-our-heroes.com and become a part of this tradition in our growing defense community.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16