Maquis Charity News Reports
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Maquis Charity Reports
Zone 9: MFS Aurora Memorial Day 2013 Activities
By MFS Aurora CO: Captain Brian Pickett
I just have to share this with you, like any proud Commanding Officer would do. :) I hope it will hearten you to see just what MFI has inspired in the people I call my closest and dearest friends, who have helped me make up the crew of the MFS Aurora, her 577th Firebirds MFMC Unit, 901st Tactical SSD Team and 979th VSA SOC Warbirds.
What these guys did for the latest event, the Memorial Day Defensive, was what I consider amazing. Together, they discussed their plan and approached the local Red Cross branch in our town, asking how they could help. Currently, the Red Cross is conducting a census survey and analysis to find out which communities throughout town would benefit most from free "hands only" CPR certification classes.
Taking the town map and dividing up the grids, they went door-to-door (in uniform) through 6 of the 8 sections of town to ask residents if they had been or are currently certified, offered information for those who were not or were interested in renewing, and questioned if they would consider becoming CPR certified if a free class were offered in their area. They also went a step further to ask if there were a community center or local facility that people thought might be willing to hold such a class.
There were some people who offered donations to the Red Cross, in first-aid items and monetary funds (personal cheques totalling $115) that the crew delivered to the branch office along with their information, once they were finished.
Major Burlew and her crack team of Firebirds had a great run, last weekend and through the rest of the week. They managed to work with three charities, doing a number of wonderful things for the community and our fallen heroes.
The first, they worked to raise awareness and donations for the Fallen Fire-fighters Memorial Fund, the Firebirds managed to hand out 128 of 150 fliers that told families about the fund and what to do in case of fire or other household emergencies. And collected a total of $380.26 for the fund. SSGT Howard Agnew, 1st LT John Hartman, 2nd LT Lynda-Marie Hauptman and 2nd LT William "Chet" Plant participated.
The second was tending to service and companion animals for a day, doing dog (and cat) grooming and washing. They also managed to get a local area veterinarian to come and do a quick check-up on the animals for a few hours, too. Price of this service was $2/animal with all proceeds going to the SafeHarbor Pet Foundation, where service, companion and Military/Civil-Service animals are adopted and trained within our local community. Other donation goods were also collected for SafeHarbor Pet Foundation, such as food, litter, potty and bedding mats, food/water bowls and pet toys. 6 2x3 size boxes of goods were collected, along with a total of $130 for the foundation. Participants were SSGT Howard Agnew, LCPL Tasha Burlew and PVT Mike Stahl.
The third group to take part in Memorial Day events was to meet at Fort Lewis Memorial Park (Cemetery) to place flags and flowers on the gravesites of servicemen and women who have made the journey to the Undiscovered Country. Working with other clubs and organizations, they laid more than 240 bouquets of flowers and placed 282 flags throughout the sites of the Memorial Park. MAJ Juanita Burlew, MCPT Ander Burlew, 2nd LT Chet Plant, LCPL Tasha Burlew and PVT Mike Stahl participating.
And finally, our SSD and Naval team working independently, and in a group.
SSD CPT Teona Bisson, along with family members, took it upon herself to get her local community to take notice of the Victoria, BC CAN police/mounty Bicycle Patrol. They went around their town on bicycles, collecting donations and passing out brochures to tell about what the Bicycle Patrol does, how it operates and just how the community can be involved in helping these first-responders out. In just one day, the group had run out of the 1000 brochures made, and collected not only $300CAN, but also 9 cases of bottled water for three of the relief stations located in Victoria's outer regions.
2nd LT Rita Junnila - who moved to Finland this last year after getting married - took the opportunity to visit the Historic Museum there, where she discovered their local Polis are in charge of traffic enforcement, while the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) is in charge of local and domestic crimes as well as the larger ones that affect the nation. With this knowledge, she spoke with me and we devised a plan for her to be able to work with some of the local area coffee shops and bakeries - because what good cop doesn't like coffee and doughnuts!?! - to give them a free drink and/or single-serving baked good if they showed their I.D. (retired, or active). 12 of the businesses in the area agreed to this form of support for their crime-fighters, which also drew in record numbers of other patrons to also also their support. This event was so successful, Mrs. Junnila has been asked to help initiate it (and other activities) in the future, for such hard-working civil servants.
1st SGT Christian La Fleur ended up working the holiday, but he was able to convince his local area store (He works for Walmart) to donate 1500 small flags to local clubs and charities to place at grave sites in the local cemetery, and also coaxed them to give out $50 gift cards which he was then able to deliver to each Fireman and EMT member for the five firehouses in the town of Casper, WY where he currently resides.
GSGT Diana Coyle took the day to pay respects with her family, as her Grandfather had served as an MP in WWII, but also a police officer once the war was over. But, she worked diligently with the rest of the team and her employer (Costco Warehouses of Kirkland WA) to donate soda and pizzas for sale at street corners along the route of the Seattle Memorial Day Parade, with all proceeds going to the Fallen Police Memorial Fund. Each of the following members worked one of these stands along the route, raising a total collection of $2100 before, during and shortly at the conclusion of the parade event.
COL Brian Pickett, SGT Katt Daida, CPL Damon Wasson, CPL Digi Frennson and LCPL John Sheppard - as well as CMDR Kathi Pickett, LTCMD Amy Johnson, LT Ben Weinstein, LT (j.g.) Jason Emery, ENS Jeff Morovich, and PO1 Phillip Buff (naval, non-SSD) - participated.