Homes For Our Troops Event UpdateDebra
I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason. Perhaps that is why I paid special attention the day Marge from the Walled Lake VFW stopped by to tell us about Casimir (Cas) Werda from Novi who had been blinded while serving our country in Iraq. Cas is the first Michigan veteran to receive assistance from Homes For Our Troops. Marge stopped by to inquire about a door prize, but our team soon decided we wanted to do something more and decided to host an event at our store to raise funds toward Cas’ furniture.
Before long we met with Dan Higgins who heads up the volunteer efforts in Michigan for Homes For Our Troops. Dan has worked for years raising funds for the organization…now he has three Michigan veterans who will soon receive support.
Our “little” event seemed to be growing each day. It was so exciting to see the community coming together to support our local hero. On Saturday morning, April 26, it was thrilling to have 40 members of the Motor City Harley Owners Group stop by during their training ride to kick off our event. Cas and his Dad Greg are members of the group.
I’m pictured here with Ed Keith who is a great guy and one of the group’s organizers.
We lost count of how many people were here that day to support Cas. There were many special presentations including those from:
* US Congressman Thaddeus McCotter
* State Senator Nancy Cassis
* State Representative Craig DeRoche
* Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson
* Chairman, Oakland County Commissioners Bill Bullard
* Vice Chair, Oakland County Commissioners Hugh Crawford
* Former Novi Mayor Lou Csordas
* Walled Lake Mayor Pro-Tem Monica Lesnau
* Novi High School Principal John Lawrence
* Novi High School Head Football Coach Tab Kellepourey
* Walled Lake seventh grader Nate Mara who collected thousands of letters of support for the troops
* Homes For Our Troops Volunteer Chairperson, Dan Higgins
The photo below is of Cas and me as we started the program.
Thanks also to the following people who helped make the day extra special, including:
* My special friend Lynne Paul for helping to coordinate the event
* Members of the Walled Lake and Novi Lions Clubs who donated and grilled hot dogs
* Members of the Custodians of Rock and Roll (C.O.R.R.) band who donated their time to play during the event
* Brittney, Mike and Mike from Novi High School who played their guitars and sang
* Casey Ambrose of Casey’s Bar and Grill in Walled Lake for providing sandwhiches and lots of support
* Danny Isbania from The Liquor Station in Walled Lake for the soft drinks, water and ice
* TGIF of Novi for the yummy appetizers
* The Novi cable station (SWOCC) who taped the program and will provide Cas with a DVD to remember the day
* My staff and all of our wonderful friends who volunteered for the day
*Numerous local businesses for their generous door prize donations…Style Salon, Shiro restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, Sheraton Hotels, Staybridge Suites in Novi and many others.
We raised enough money that day to help Cas furnish his family room. I believe he will find his new furniture comfortable and hopefully serve as a reminder that he is surrounded by a caring community.