Updated 5/21/08, 8:18pm
The fundraising effort, per CJ, now stands at $1207, so we've got $2293 left to go.
Updated 5/18/08, 10:54pm
CJ updates to let us know that the fundraiser still stands $2828 short of the $3500 goal - it hasn't changed since May 12 - and I'd really like to see us make the goal. Plugging the 4 cross-stitch pieces I donated: I think they would be nice (as a finished, framed piece) as a gift for Hail & Farewells, promotions, retirements, or as a memorial (like I did with mine, for my grandfather). I will include (upon request, at no additional cost) the custom mat so it can be framed with a photo (mat fits a standard 8x10 frame).
Also, welcome BlackFive readers, and Thanks, Uncle Jimbo, for the link.
A while back, I had talked with CJ over at A Soldier's Perspective about doing a fundraiser with him like I had done previously with Any Soldier, Inc. last fall. He agreed, and now he's come up with a worthy cause to benefit from my work (and a few things he's offering up). So, here's the deal, from CJ:
When I moved here, I realized that I was going to miss going to Walter Reed. The opportunities to do something special for troops beyond the few I'm directly responsible for. So, I thought that I would do something special for those that may one day become troops and volunteer with JROTC program at the local high school.
This is the first year that the program has existed and they need help. Through other donations and fundraising they've been able to take the kids to various competitions. In their first year they have won two first place trophies in physical fitness, but they really need help with drill and ceremony (marching and movement). Since this is the first year, there aren't any experienced cadets that can train them. Unfortunately, most of the Soldiers (like me) who consider themselves subject matter experts on D&C aren't able to be at the school during classes to teach them.
The JROTC instructor, retired Chief Warrant Officer Hobbs, would like to send two returning Juniors to a Drill and Ceremony Camp this summer. The problem? The camp will cost $3500 to send them both (not each). I'm thinking that we have enough support here through direct donations as well as enough people with blogs elsewhere that we can put a substantial dent in that need.
CJ is offering up a copy of Luke Stricklin's debut CD "American By God's Amazing Grace", "Charlie Wilson's War" on DVD (starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts), a signed copy of his "cheesy, official Army First Sergeant Photo that all my [CJ's] offices are required to hang in their hallways (limited edition 1 of 1!)" and a thank you (chances of winning are 1:1). Also an ASP reader has donated a copy of Michael Yon's Moment of Truth in Iraq (while I'll loan my copy out - Daddy has it now - I'm not sure I could part with my signed copy permanently...)
I have contributed 4 cross-stitch pieces, one for each of the four services, which will be customized with the name, rank and unit (or conflict/operation) as requested by the raffle winner(s). Here's a sample of what a completely finished product will look like (note - the raffled items will not come framed, but I might be able to include the custom mat, since I was able to get more of them for a good price):
That's my grandfather. He served in the Navy as a fighter pilot in WWII.
The four pieces up for raffle:
So, if you are interested in helping out some young JROTC cadets at Columbia High School in Huntsville, AL, contribute to this raffle. Tickets are $1 per chance of winning (odds determined by the number of tickets sold) any given item. You'll need to specify which item(s) you are buying tickets for. If there is any (or enough, I should say) interest, a custom cross-stitch for the Coast Guard might be made available (I have a pattern, but have not made one yet): if you are interested, let me know. Until CJ is able to fix the problem with his missing PayPal link on this sidebar, you can go to the PayPal site to send money, using his dj_chcknhawk -at- yahoo.com email address. The drawing for winnings will be June 15th.