—General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, Keynote Speaker's Call To Action: "Take Care Of Our Own"—
ASHBURN, VIRGINIA, April 6, 2015 - Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund's April 2, 2015 gala held at Hotel ZaZa in Houston, Texas, raised $1,400,000 to support its mission of giving back to military veterans and immediate family members through education assistance. More than 450 people attended and heard keynote speaker General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, present a passionate call to action to "take care of our own". Anthony Anderson, star of ABC's "Black-ish", was host for the evening. A short overview video underscoring the impact of the organization further punctuated the evening: http://www.emcorgroup.com/jmvideo/
The Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, founded by fellow graduates and classmates of West Point, is inspired by Colonel John "Johnny Mac" McHugh, killed in action in Afghanistan on May 18, 2010. An Army aviator, Colonel McHugh served more than 24 years in the U.S. Army, and is remembered as a selfless soldier, leader, family man and friend. Colonel McHugh's daughter Kelly made a moving presentation at the event--a tribute to her father and the legacy that has been created.
General Raymond T. Odierno spoke in his keynote about the vital importance of taking care of soldiers and their families, while serving their country and when they return home. Having commanded units at every level, from platoon to theater throughout his 37 years of service, the General has numerous military awards and decorations, including the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal and Orders of Military Merit from Brazil, Colombia, Romania and Italy.
"Johnny Mac's mission is to step into the gap and, through education assistance, help support veterans and children whose parents made the ultimate sacrifice--that's 16,000 kids whose lives we can impact right now," stated Stephen Cannon, co-founder of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund and President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “We have a responsibility to give back to these veterans and children who have given up so much--their moms and dads--in service to our country. As a country we need to come together and pay that back."
"We must take care of our own. Through the mission of Johnny Mac, we can all give back in a small way that has significant impact to those who have sacrificed so much for all of us," commented Tony Guzzi, co-founder of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund and President & CEO of EMCOR Group, Inc. "We're honoring our veterans and fallen comrades by helping taking care of their educational needs and those of the children they've left behind. They have served, and now we have an obligation to serve---we must serve. It's part of who we are."
About Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund
Established in 2014, the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to financially assisting veterans and their family members with education expenses. The fund is inspired by Colonel John "Johnny Mac" McHugh, KIA in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 18, 2010. To learn more about or support the mission of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, visit www.JohnnyMac.org