Honored guests for the evening included Joseph Dryer, one of the few remaining survivors of the attack on Iwo Jima; Jerold Klein, Friends of Fisher House Treasurer and recipient of the Silver Star for heroism in Vietnam; Daniel R. Baer who served in World War II; Rodman Steele a Vietnam Vet, Desmond Price who was deployed five times, and recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Ted Task and Frank Hogan who both served as US Marines during the Korean War. Also being honored were veterans: Leo Lezar, Scott Barber, and Patrick Rielly.
Arnold Fisher, the Vice Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and heads up the Fisher Brothers Annual Scholarship Fund for military children was also on hand to discuss the Fisher House organization and its growth in different markets throughout the U.S. As a member of one of America’s philanthropic and patriotic families who direct most of their charitable work to the men and woman of the United States Military, Arnold Fisher has overseen numerous charitable projects. Most of his dedicated work was through The Intrepid Fallen Hero’s Fund. After recognizing the need to provide specialized rehabilitation services to veterans who are traumatic amputee and burn patients, Mr. Fisher became the driving force behind private donations to build the Center for the Intrepid. He has also been hard at work creating a state-of-the art Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Diagnostic Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Craig Dickmann and Matt deFalco from Hamilton Jewelers presented a special gift to each of the honored veterans for their service and several Palm Beach boutiques helped sponsor the event with raffle items. Juicy Couture and Sequin Boutique extended their hours to co-host the event, offering their venue for the Black River Caviar reception and impressive Chinese auction. Christofle presented the hard-working volunteers with beautiful sterling silver bookmarks engraved with the American Flag. Included in the Chinese Auction were Village Camps in Switzerland and a Golf Foursome at the Ritz Carlton Club in Jupiter. Participating Palm Beach organizations and boutiques included: Hamilton Jewelers, The Breakers, Stubbs & Wootton, Christofle, Daniella Ortiz, Key Leaf, Emilio Pucci, Badgley Mischka, Daniella Ortiz, Tito Vodka, Island Company.
Other notables attending included: Congressional Candidate Lois Frankel, South Florida builder/developer/
Local movers and shakers included: Philip Nicozisis, Brad Deflin, Carlos Morrison, Lucia Bonavita, Maribel Alvarez, Jim Pappas, Arvo Katajisto, Jeff Koons, Leslie Linder, Ashley McKintosh, Andres Fanjul, Daniel Jennings, Candice Jorritsma, Avery Dimmig, Adam Lipson, Alexis Posada, Pamela Tombari, Marrisa Pepper, Avery Dimmig, Reid Boren, Ronnie and Jennie Hasozbek-Garcia, Diane Weiss, and Diana and Rich Horowitz.
If you would like more information on this topic or to schedule an interview, please call Linda Soper at (612) 308.4159 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Fisher House:
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's service men and women in their time of greatest need. Families do not pay to stay at Fisher Houses, which serve as a "home away from home" for them while their loved ones are receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.
The program was the brainchild of New York real estate developer and philanthropist Zachary Fisher and his wife Elizabeth who opened the first "Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House" at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland on 24 June 1990. There are now over 50 Fisher Houses throughout the United States, and the program is growing every year in response to the needs of veterans and their families. More than 183,000 days of lodging are provided by Fisher Houses every year.
The local Fisher House is an eight-bedroom facility situated on the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center campus. It has been in operation since 1995, and has accommodated approximately 10,100 families. Each guest room has a laptop with Wi-Fi Internet, flat screen TV, and a DVD/VCR player. Families are welcomed to use a fully stocked kitchen to provide for their meals. The homey living room has an extensive library of books, DVD's and games, and the shaded patio overlooking the quiet lake behind the house provides a much- needed respite for families after caring for their loved ones at the Medical Center.
The Friends of the Fisher House, a charitable corporation recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, supports all the needs of the West Palm Beach VA Fisher House. Board members volunteer their time and talents to raise funds for food, supplies and necessary capital improvements. In the words of Board President Joseph A. Tringali, "The expenses of the Board are zero and will remain that way." The Friends of Fisher House have also established a voucher program with selected area hotels to take care of families when Fisher House has no vacancies.
The Friends of Fisher House anticipates the demand for rooms will continue to increase, especially now that the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has a major cancer treatment facility. They believe that America owes a debt to its veterans and their families who deserve to be fully supported in their time of need with safe and convenient lodging while in the West Palm Beach area for medical treatment. One Board member summed up our obligation to our veterans with one simple statement – “We have a ‘land of the free’ because of the brave!"
Photos Courtesy of: Janis Bucher Photography and Michael Price Photography