2009 Events and Publicity Recap
5th Annual MMAF Appreciation Walk/Run
This past Father’s Day, MMAF raised public awareness of the sacrifices made by our military, and particularly by those Service Members who are fathers. Over 1,500 people came to downtown Minneapolis and participated in the fifth-annual Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Walk/Run. Participants received free tickets to the Minnesota Twins game that followed the Walk/Run event, “Thanks” t-shirts, and vouchers to redeem for any home Timberwolves game in November 2009. At the same time, halfway across the world in Basra, 285 Service Members participated in a 5K “Shadow Run” as a show of solidarity for the Walk/Run event in Minneapolis. Prior to the Walk / Run, the crowd was treated to a flyover of WWII fighter jets – in missing man formation – a tribute to fallen soldiers.
MMAF grants were then awarded to six Minnesota soldiers: PFC Adam Frahm, SSG Clinton Franks, CPL Nicholas Hannigan and SGT Adam Juvrud all received $500 grants for serving honorably in a combat zone. Purple Heart recipient, LCPL Peter Hanson, received a grant for $3,000, and double Purple Heart recipient, LCPL Christopher Gonzalez, received grants totaling $15,000. It was an honor to have Senator Klobuchar and General Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, present the grants to these heroes. The rain held off as runners and walkers made their way to the start line and under a giant 30-foot American flag suspended by two Minneapolis Fire Department trucks. Many carried flags or homemade signs about their loved ones or pinned signs on their shirts that indicated who they were walking in honor of. It was a moving and memorable event.
Annual 9/11 tribute to Service Members
Every year on the anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, MMAF hosts a special ceremony at the State Capitol rotunda to honor Minnesotans who have served our country since 9/11 and present each with a cash grant from MMAF. This year marked the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy and MMAF awarded grants to eight Service Members and families of Service Members killed in action. The grant recipients included four families of soldiers killed in action. Each of these families received a $5,000 grant from MMAF:
The family of Corporal Benjamin Kopp. CPL Kopp served in Iraq with Company C, 3rd Battalion as an Army Ranger.
The family of Specialist Daniel Drevnick. SPC Drevnick served in Iraq with the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard.
The family of Specialist James Wertish. SPC Wertish served in Iraq with the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard.
The family of Specialist Carlos Wilcox. SPC Wilcox served in Iraq in the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard.
Grant recipients also included a Purple Heart recipient who was awarded a $5,500 grant:
Corporal Benjamin Mauser. CPL Mauser was injured on July 15, 2004 when he was hit by shrapnel on the right side of his face. CPL Mauser served in Iraq with the First Battalion, 7th Marines from June 2004 to October 2004.
Three grant recipients were awarded $500 grants for honorably serving in a combat zone:
Sergeant Alan Verly. Served in Iraq with the United States Marine Corp from August to
Specialist Peter Tellin. Served in Iraq with the A. Company 834th ASB of the Army National Guard from August 2008 to May 2009.
Specialist Brian Pevito. Served in Iraq with the 353rd Transportation Company of the Army Reserves from October 2008 to July 2009.
Patriot Ride in East Bethel
This 75-mile motorcycle ride benefits MMAF and has raised over $114,000 for MMAF over the past 3 years. In 2009 the event attracted over 2,000 bikers. MMAF recognizes organizers Dennis Kirk and the Minnesota Patriot Guard.
Cub Foods, 7Up and TCF Bank sell “Thanks” Pins
MMAF provided its “Thanks” pins to Minnesota’s 62 Cub Foods stores and the TCF Bank branches within the Cub Foods stores. Cub and TCF accepted $1 donations for the pins for three weeks in November 2009. In addition, 7Up Bottling donated a portion of its proceeds to MMAF for every 7Up and Snapple product sold during the same timeframe. This marks the third Cub/7Up fundraising campaign,which so far has netted over $40,000 for MMAF.
Freedom Run in Minnesota Lake
This motorcycle ride and silent auction has quietly raised nearly $25,000 for MMAF since its first event three years ago. MMAF commends organizers Jane McGregor, Tricia Brown, and Cathy Treanor.
Sales of Ken Dahlberg’s book, One Step Forward
Dahlberg is one of America’s true WWII aviation heroes. Proceeds from the sale of his book have been donated to MMAF, so far totaling over $16,000.
Justin Hall Golf Tournament in Hudson, Wisconsin
MMAF has been a beneficiary of this event for the past three years, receiving over $11,000 in total. Organizers Justin Hall and Jeff Manderfeld believe the tournament is a great way to give back to Minnesota Service Members.
The Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show
The River Rats Ski Team and six other metro ski teams performed a show to benefit MMAF on August 25, 2009. $2,000 was raised for MMAF. MMAF thanks organizers Adrienne Rundell, Patrick Brady, and all of the ski teams that came out to support our military and their families.