On Saturday, November 9, the community of Pearland, TX, came together to honor veterans and to raise funds to support vets and the families of vets battling PTSD.
Thanks to a record number of business sponsors, the sixth annual Pearland Veterans Day Walk netted more than $16,000, which will be distributed to local organizations that provide counseling, direct care, emergency aid and fund research to alleviate suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.
The beneficiaries of the Walk include Counseling Connections for Change, Camp Hope, Community Action Program of Pearland, VFW Post 7109, and HIKE for Mental Health, the organizer of the event.
Volunteers make it possible
We want to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone involved in making the Walk such a success, including:
- the core team of volunteers who meet all year long to plan and organize the Walk and the many extra volunteer hands who turn out on the day of the Walk to help with setup, registration, and so many other activities essential to the day.
- Janie Chen and the AYLUS members who again provided on-route direction and safety for the Walker
- Jeff Cardenas and Boy Scout Troop 468 of Pearland for managing parking and keeping everyone safe during the walk.
- Danielle Neely, Ingrid Miller and their Brownies from Girl Scout Troop 142142 for cheering on the walkers and handing our challenger medals at the finish line.
- Emcee Sasha Costa, Gathering Place CEO Dale Libby, Mayor Tom Reid, Rep. Ed Thompson, and Pearland City Council Member Gary Moore for volunteering their time and talent during the opening ceremonies to recognize and thank veterans.
- Sgt Maj. Bruce Grant and the JROTC from Pearland High School for again providing the color guard and representing their school with honor.
- Jazz vocalist Traci Cooper for leading us in the National Anthem.
- Angie Infante, who served on the core team and also designed, donated and decorated the event t-shirts again this year through her business, Graphic Icons.
- The Pearland Police Department for bringing the MRAP “SWAT” vehicle and the new mobile command unit to the event for everyone to explore.
Challenge Medal design winners
Special thanks to Peggy Krampota and everyone at The Gathering Place in Alvin, a ministry that provides help and hope for families affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementia. Peggy helped organize this year’s contest to design the challenge medals given out to walk finishers. The four winners whose designs were incorporated into the final medal received the first medals minted from this year’s design. Congratulations to Marian Nolan, Butch Passmore, Morris Reed, and Mary Zacharias!
Thank you, sponsors!
Our grateful appreciation to the business sponsors for this year’s walk who helped us reach a new record in event proceeds. Thank you, City of Pearland, INEOS Oxide, Community Impact Newspaper, MHI Compressor International, Graphic Icons, Pearland City Council Member Trent Perez, Prescott’s Pressure Washing, Gulf Coast – a CRH Company, Nancy Kozanecki, Farmers Insurance Sally Mercer Agency, Lyondell Basell, Raising Canes, Best Western Pearland, campGladiator, VCA Westside Animal Hospital, Law Office of J. David Little, County Commissioner Stacy Adams, Texas Senator Larry Taylor, State Representative Ed Thompson, TruBlue Total House Care, Greg Hill, Purpose Plumbing, Embrace Wellness, Barry Insurance Group, Brazoria county Constable Buck Stevens, BAKfish Brewing Co., Judge Lori Rickert, The Bar @ Friends Uncorked, HomeTown Bank, Keller Williams Becky Soliz, Orange Theory, Pearland State Bank, Cooper Wood Crafts, Derrick Reed, and NuHome Group.
Thanks also to gift card raffle supporters Birraporetti’s, BB’s Tex-Orleans, BreWingZ Sports Bar and Grill, Chuy’s, Elf on the Shelf, Gringo’s, Oriental Trading Company, Panera, Pappas, Taste of Texas, and Total Wines & More.
Special thanks to Home Helpers Home Care for underwriting the costs of the walk so the rest of the sponsorships and all other proceeds from the Walk would go to the cause of alleviating the suffering of PTS for veterans and their families.
You are not forgotten
Finally, thank you to everyone who attended, especially the veterans in the group and families of veterans. As the saying from the Korean War era goes, “All gave some, and some gave all.” Your service and sacrifice is not forgotten.
And if you or someone you know is battling post traumatic stress, reach out for help. It is strength, not weakness, to ask for help when needed, and there are many resources available, including the Veterans Crisis Line (dial 800-273-8255 and press 1 to speak with a vet who understands 24 hours a day).
Thanks for Kathy Hickey for volunteering her time and sharing her photographic talents!
Additional photos courtesy of Ana Gorham-Maki. Thank you, Ana!