Trib­ute din­ner raises funds for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies

Theme of event rec­og­nizes con­tri­bu­tions to­day, re­mem­bers sac­ri­fices

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA

De­tails were an­nounced March 12 morn­ing about a trib­ute din­ner set to raise funds for mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies.

The At­lantic Maple Leaf New­found­land and Labrador 2013 Trib­ute Din­ner will be held June 27 at the St. John’s Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

“For ev­ery sol­dier, sailor, or air­man or air­woman stand­ing guard, there is a fam­ily be­hind them pro­vid­ing the sta­bil­ity at the home — the sup­port they need to get the job done,” said Brig.-Gen. Christo­pher Thur­rott, com­man­der for Land Force At­lantic Area, who was among those present for last week’s launch at the Cap­i­tal Ho­tel in St. John’s. “Fam­i­lies are the back­bones of our forces. Let there be no doubt about that.”

The event will raise money for a num­ber of groups and funds that of­fer var­i­ous forms of sup­port to fam­i­lies and wounded sol­diers. They in­clude mil­i­tary fam­ily re­source cen­tres, the Wounded War­rior Fund, Sol­dier On, the Mil­i­tary Fam­i­lies Fund, and the Cana­dian Forces Benev­o­lent Fund.

The Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador will hold pro­ceeds from the event in a trust fund, and all money raised will be spent within the province.

Cpl. David Han­nan from Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion St. John’s un­der­stands the kind of sup­port mil­i­tary fam­i­lies value. Han­nan, of Lon­don, Ont., has com­pleted three tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in the United Arab Emi­rates.

“The mil­i­tary fam­ily re­source cen­tre was a big sup­port,” said Han­nan, who has a wife and two chil­dren. “For her to lean on peo­ple that were go­ing through the same thing, and to have the sup­port of peo­ple that ei­ther had been in­volved pre­vi­ously — the sup­port sys­tem was amaz­ing.”

It was hard for him to help deal with fam­ily prob­lems back home over the phone or through In­ter­net con­ver­sa­tions. Know­ing she had a sup­port sys­tem in place through the re­source cen­tre give Han­nan peace of mind.

“It’s not just the wives. The kids go through the same thing. Their dad or mother is overseas, and they lean on each other, too, for the sup­port el­e­ment of what they’re go­ing through.”

Gen. Rick Hil­lier (re­tired) is set to speak at the trib­ute din­ner, and cur­rent Lt.-Gov. John Cros­bie — who is mov­ing out of Government House on Fri­day — will serve as the event’s pa­tron. There will also be items avail­able for auc­tion.

“I think there can’t be a higher cause than this (event) to ben­e­fit wounded sol­diers and mil­i­tary fam­i­lies in our province,” said Cros­bie.

“For her to lean on peo­ple that were go­ing through the same thing, and to have the sup­port of peo­ple that ei­ther had been in­volved pre­vi­ously – the sup­port

sys­tem was amaz­ing.”

TC Me­dia, par­ent com­pany of The Tele­gram and The Com­pass, is among the me­dia spon­sors for the trib­ute din­ner. Tele­gram pub­lisher Char­lie Stacey is on the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee for the event and Miller Ayre, Pub­lisher Emer­i­tus for the pa­per, is a co-chair for the din­ner along with former re­servist and St. John’s busi­ness­man Bill Ma­honey.

“For decades, our news­pa­pers have told the sto­ries of our brave mil­i­tary men and women, re­counted their tri­umphs, and un­for­tu­nately some­times their tragedies,” said Tele­gram man­ag­ing ed­i­tor Kerry Hann, who is also the man­ag­ing ed­i­tor for 14 weekly news­pa­pers owned by TC Me­dia across New­found­land and Labrador.

“This is why TC Me­dia is hon­oured to be part of this very worth­while ini­tia­tive that will raise funds to help sup­port New­found­land and Labrador mil­i­tary veter­ans and their fam­i­lies.” arobin­son@thetele­gram.com

Twit­ter: @Te­le­An­drew

Joe Gib­bons photo

Flanked by mil­i­tary per­son­nel from Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion St. John’s, Lt.-Gov. John C. Cros­bie, Honorary Colonel of the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment, speaks on the up­com­ing At­lantic Maple Leaf New­found­land and Labrador 2013 Trib­ute Din­ner news con­fer­ence at the Cap­i­tal Ho­tel in St. John’s last Tues­day morn­ing. St. John’s mil­i­tary per­son­nel are (from left) Cpl. Kerry Roberts, M/S Fred Martin, L/S Paulette Os­borne, MCpl. Paul Lawrence, Pt. Car­rie Comeau and Cpl. Josh Cooper.

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