On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Foundation officers, members, guests and staff gathered at the U.S.S. Intrepid here in New York City to celebrate the $250,000 donation that the Columbus Citizens Foundation made to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This donation will help the Intrepid in their building of satellite centers that will provide aid to the troops in dealing with post-traumatic stress and brain injury resulting from having served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our Executive Director David Iommarini told the Wall Street Journal that the grant was motivated by a desire to pay tribute to our returning troops.
The day at the Intrepid began with a short video containing interviews with servicemen being shown. Then the members were given a guided tour of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Unfortunately, the Space Shuttle Pavilion was not open at the time, as it was still undergoing repairs after the effects of Hurricane Sandy. (The pavilion relaunched just yesterday, and you can watch the reopening ceremony here.) Lisa Santucci, the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s new Manager of Business Development and the Columbus Day Parade, was also there (thank you Lisa for contributing your photos!). The tour made her really appreciate the hard work that the servicemen do for our country. She also confessed that the sleeping arrangements on the Intrepid tour made her feel claustrophobic, with as many as three bunk beds on top of each other in the berthing deck. After the tour, a brief ceremony was held and Foundation President Frank Fusaro presented a check to David Winters, President of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Mr. Winters thanked the Foundation’s members for helping our country’s servicemen and women. The day concluded with a lovely dinner at the Foundation townhouse.
If you'd like to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, there are many ways to help. Visit them on their website, FallenHeroesFund.org or become a part of the MakeItVisible social media campaign and help spread the word for the cause.
If any of you have had the opportunity to visit the Intrepid Museum or work with the Fallen Heroes Fund, please share your stories with us in the comments!