108th Griffon Association Needs Your Participation

02/21/2012  |  By Charles E. (Skip) McCartney Major General, USA Retired, President 108th Griffon Association
The Griffon

It was a very exciting year for the 108th Griffon Association. The highlight of 2011 was the planning and execution of the 1st Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte on September 26th. Ninety golfers teed off that day in support of our Soldiers and their families. With their help and with the generosity of our sponsors like PolyTech Industrial of Huntersville, NC, our title sponsor, your association was able to raise over $16,000.00 for our worthwhile projects, which include scholarships for Soldiers, retirees and their children and grandchildren, support of deployed Soldiers through such things as care packages and phone cards, financial support of families of deployed soldiers in need and financial support of wounded warriors injured or wounded on duty. A wonderful time was had by all the golf participants, and numerous players commented on the great organization and set up of the tournament, which was run on the day of the event by volunteers from the Asdociation. Everyone we asked was enthusiastic about participating again next year. We gave cash awards for the 1st, 10th and last place teams in both low net and low gross in the total amount of $1,600, as well as, serving both lunch and dinner with a silent auction capping the evening’s festivities. We believe there is the opportunity to at least double our net fundraising from this event with more participation from members in either obtaining sponsors and/or playing in the tournament and encourage all Association members to support it through their active involvement. Even if you are not a golfer, lots of help is needed before and during the tournament.

With the proceeds of the tournament, your board has already decided to increase the amount of each scholarship given in 2012 from $500 to $1,000. We have also approved a $700 contribution to the 108th Family Support Group to provide items and postage for 100 deployed Soldier care packages for Christmas and a contribution of $300 to help an injured Soldier who is a single mother waiting on a VA determination with her electric bill. We intend to spend the vast majority of our funds on Soldiers, so if you know of a confirmed Soldier/family financial issue, please let a member of the board know the details so we can assist. We will work through 108th Family Support and other Veteran support organizations to meet confirmed and identified needs.

This year we presented four (4) $500.00 scholarships to the deserving children of some 108th Training Command soldiers. These scholarships are available to retirees and their children and grandchildren as well as Soldiers and their families from not only the 108th Hqs, but also members of the 95th, 98th and 104th Divisions. Applications can be obtained from copies of the Griffon newspaper as well as from any board member.

In October, we conducted our annual membership picnic at Weston Lake at Ft Jackson. About 50 members of the Association and their guests attended and feasted on barbeque and all the fixings. CSM Ron Law briefed us on the new integration of the active and reserve drill sergeant schools and Randy Cook from G-3 gave a very comprehensive briefing on all the current missions of the command.

Lastly, we participated in two Reconnect Ft Jackson events, one in the spring and one in the fall. This is sponsored by Ft Jackson and the South Carolina American Legion and brings retirees to post for a day, which includes a Commanding General brief, visits to training areas to view Soldier training, opportunities to discuss their basic training experience with young Soldiers, lunch and an exciting time of firing various Army weapons systems.

For 2012, we have already scheduled the golf tournament for the 24th of September at Pine Island. If you can assist with this event please let me, John Glover or Bruce McGinnis know as soon as possible.

The board at its last meeting agreed to move the picnic from the fall to the spring so as not to conflict with the golf tournament. Therefore we plan to have the event on Saturday the 9th of June. This is a 108th Hqs battle assembly weekend, so we hope to garner some participation from active 108th members. Please go ahead and reserve this date on your calendars, so that we can have maximum participation. In order to also increase participation, we are looking at the possibility of conducting the picnic at either the Charlotte Historical Museum, which would include presentations about the Revolutionary War Battle of Charlotte and early NC family life, or Kings Mountain National Military Park, which would include a staff ride of the battlefield. A trip to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro was also mentioned as a possibility. If you have any thoughts on these event locations or other ways to increase participation, please let us know.

We again plan to participate in Reconnect Ft Jackson, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Traditionally these events have been held in March and October, but we will not know exact dates until about three weeks before the actual date. Mark your calendars for these months for a really fun visit to America’s largest basic training base. If any of you want to try to put together a visit to Ft Bragg, let us know and we will investigate the possibility.

In order to keep the membership better informed, in 2012, we intend to publish a quarterly newsletter, with retiree information and other information of interest to the membership. We will mail this to those of you who do not have an e-mail address, e-mail to those of you who do and also place it on our website, www.108thgriffonassoc.com We also intend over the next weeks to update the website and add links to information pertinent to retirees. If you have not visited the website yet, please do.

The objective now is for all units within the 108thTraining Command to be aware of the support that is available and for the appropriate parties to apply.

Command Hq. contacts are Ms. Denise Wallace (Family Program Coordinator): 704-342-5128, e-mail [email protected] and Lt. Col. Christopher Black (Safety and Occupational Health Specialist and PIO Coordinator): 704-342-5152, e-mail [email protected].

The lifeblood of any organization is its membership and the 108th Griffon Assoc. is no exception. It is obvious two of the missions of the association are being met as described above. Equally important is the opportunity for present and former members of the 108th to gather socially to renew old friendships but to also develop new ones especially with those who are on active reserve status as well. Membership in the 108th Griffon Association is open to all former and present members, both military and civilian, who are presently serving or have served honorably. Membership is only $10 per year on an annual basis or $108 for a lifetime membership. The 108th Griffon Association is a 501c3 non profit organization and all dues and donations are fully tax deductible. Your support is definitely needed to expand and continue the work that has been initiated hopefully for long into the future. The link below is an application for membership. Please mail the application to the address given or e-mail Wally Holston at [email protected]. Additional information is available on our web site, www.108thgriffonassociation.com.

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