$16,000 raised for our Soldiers and Families

09/04/2012  |  Charles E. McCartney, Jr. MG, USA, Retired President, 108th Griffon Association
The Griffon

CSM (Retired) John Perrill, a member of the Griffon Association, presents a $1000 scholarship to Myra Andrews of Sheldon, S.C. She will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2012.

On the 26th of September, 2011, 23 teams kicked off the first annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament in a shotgun start. Players arrived to patriotic music played by the 208th Army Band, registered and set off to the practice tee. Following completion of registration, the formal start of the tournament included mistress of ceremonies Allison Latos from Charlotte’s WSOC-TV, Channel 9, Eyewitness News team, who was introduced by MG (Ret) McCartney, President of the 108th Griffon Association. Following their remarks, a color guard from the Statesville High Junior ROTC presented the colors, the band played the National Anthem and an invocation was presented. At 1200, with a delicious box lunch in hand, a new sleeve of Pine Island balls and the anticipation of a great day of golf, the 90+ players set out to challenge an exciting course.

Besides a number of veterans who played in the tournament, the field included 12 present soldiers and disabled veterans, who were able to play thanks to the generosity of several sponsors. Lead by SGM Mark Terrell, one of those foursomes of current soldiers from the Concord, NC company of 1st Battalion, 321st Regiment, Ft. Jackson, SC, played well enough to garner 1st place in the net division.

Following golf, dinner was served in the Pine Island Country Club banquet room, prizes were awarded and the silent auction was held. A great day of golf, comradry, food and fun was capped off by the announcement of over $16,500.00 being raised to support Soldiers and their families. On an additional pleasing note for all the organizers and volunteers who made it a special day for the participants, all the golfers complimented the staff and volunteers for an extremely well runtournament and promised to come back in 2012.

LTC (ret) Frank Gammon, member 108th Griffon Association and JROTC teacher at Statesville High School, presents Miss Mary Summers with a $1,000 scholarship from the 108th Griffon Association. Miss Summers recently graduated from Statesville High School, Statesville, NC. and will attend North Carolina State University in the Fall of 2012. She is the granddaughter of SFC Nate Neely a former member of B Company, 3/518th, 108th Division (IT).

The Griffon Board believes the only thing more important than executing a great fund raiser is making sure that the money gets out to the people who need it. Therefore, it has always been our intent to execute the vast majority of the money raised for the benefit of Soldiers and their families with only a minimal amount set aside for pre-tournament expenses.

(Pictured l-r) Mrs. Jean Haggard (principal of Pelion High School), Will Lucas, Recipient (PE Teacher at Pelion High School, CSM (Ret.) William C. Lucas and Ben Freeman (Athletic Director/Head Football Coach of Pelion High School). This scholarship will help Lucas finish his counseling degree to better understand students’ needs.

At this point, we have held true to this intent. This last winter, we provided $700.00 for items and postage to send Christmas care packages to 100 deployed Soldiers. In addition, we provided $300.00 to a single parent Soldier injured in a training accident to pay her electric bills during the winter until her Line of Dutypay packet was approved, as well as, $1,000.00 to an injured re-deployed Soldier to keep him from losing his family’s house. More recently, we have approved a $500.00 payment to a Soldier injured during an annual training accident to help him with his mortgage and electric bills until his LOD is approved.

The Board also recently approved grants to two organizations, which we hope to continue to support well into the future. Purple Heart Homes is a Statesville, NC based non-profit, which assists wounded/injured Soldiers obtain appropriate handicapped accessible houses or upgrade their existing residence to make it handicap accessible for their particular needs. Veterans Restoration Quarters is an Asheville, NC based non-profit, which provides job training and in- house residential quarters for homeless veterans from across North Carolina. We believe the basics of a job and adequate housing are two of the prerequisites for helping wounded/injured Soldiers start the road to a better life, whether their issues are lost limbs, PTSD or alcohol/drug abuse brought on by the horrors of

war. Therefore, we recently presented checks of $2,000.00 each to these great organizations and hope to grant much more in the future with the help of our Supporters and Sponsors.

Board members have presented five (5), $1,000 Scholarships to very deserving children/grandchildren of the 108th Training Command Soldiers. The recipients are: Myra Andrews of Sheldon, S.C.; Hillary Bacon from Mayfield, Ky.; Luke Barton from Hickory, N.C.; Mary Summers of Statesville, N.C.; and Will Lucas, PE teacher at Pellon High School.

Each of these young men/women are outstanding students, who have the potential to be wonderful contributors and citizens and to make a difference for our Country. Since its inception the Griffon Association has assisted young men and women like these to further their post- secondary educations and we are proud of each and every one of them.

To date we have used 70 percent of the money raised by our first tournament to help Soldiers and their families. Before the next tournament, we intend to expend the balance for equally worthy endeavors. With your continuing support, we can do much more. Thanks again and God Bless You.

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