Elizabeth Kellogg, Semper Fi Open
Our relationship with Semper Fi & America’s Fund started almost 10 years ago. Our business is based around military contracting, and we wanted to find a way to give back. My sister approached my dad about starting a golf tournament to raise money; the first thing he tasked her with was finding the “right” organization to support. As soon as the research began, she knew that The Fund was precisely the type of charity we were looking to help. They had local roots in San Diego, their overhead costs were (and continue to be) almost non-existent, and they were committed to the lifelong support of our nation’s heroes. Sadly, my sister passed away a few weeks before our inaugural event in 2012 while awaiting her second heart transplant. We support Semper Fi & America’s Fund in memory of my sister and in the memory of all the service members that made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our freedom and ideals.
Everything I do for Semper Fi & America’s Fund is to honor my dad, who everyone affectionately calls Sgt. Bob, USMC November 1966 – December 1970.
I started running for The Fund in 2010 to honor the hard work my father did (almost 40+ years after he got home from Vietnam) and to help with his PTSD. No service member should ever feel the way our Vietnam Veterans felt when they came home. The Fund has made sure that all my dad’s “brothers and sisters” have the support emotionally and financially when they need it. To provide support, I fundraise.
I was volunteering at a water stop for the 2013 Boston Marathon. This is a day those of us in the running community and the world will never forget. The Fund came to Boston with a team in four days to help those who were catastrophically injured. The Fund used their experience in helping our service members to help civilians. For providing mentors to those in need, I fundraise.
In September 2020 my world was turned upside down when my father, Sgt. Bob, was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer from his exposure to Agent Orange. This was a full circle moment for us. For the past 10 years, I have fundraised for Semper Fi & America’s Fund. The Fund and The LCpl Parsons Welcome Home Fund for Vietnam Veterans were there for my father. They provided financial support as we spent 2 months going into Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston for treatment. For helping my dad, I will forever fundraise.
The Fund is just part of me. Everyone can do something to help others. For all the love I have for The Fund, I fundraise “Just Because.”
Land of the Free Foundation
Those of us at the Land of the Free Foundation are proud and honored to be able to support Semper Fi and America’s Fund (“The Fund”). When we started our Foundation back in 2007, we were looking for beneficiaries who would support our mission to support Service Members and their families who work and sacrifice every day to ensure America remains the Land of the Free. We give because The Fund has proven to be an organization worthy of our donations. As former Marine and Navy Officers ourselves, we are fortunate to be able to give back, and we know that well over 90% of our donation will go directly to programs supporting Veterans, active duty members, and their families. It is important to us that none of our donations are wasted on advertising, administrative costs, and excessive executive compensation; with The Fund, that is never a concern. Additionally, we see how The Fund cares for severely wounded Service Members by providing assistance with everything from modifications to automobiles, upgraded software programs for those who can no longer type, and specialized mattresses for those with burns or multiple injuries. They even provide service dogs through a great canine companion program. Thank God for Semper Fi and America’s Fund and for all of the fantastic staff and volunteers who tirelessly support those who have decided to serve our great nation. Humbly, Land of the Free Foundation
Tony & Maureen LaBoa
We can’t write big checks, but we can talk about Semper Fi & America’s Fund so that folks donate what they can. Part of our fundraising used to involve a massive yard sale. At one of these, a WWII vet (I could tell by his baseball cap) walked up the driveway, asked who was in charge, and demanded that I promise him that his money would indeed get to the Fund. I assured him it would, and that in fact, we would have it matched when it was donated the next day. He opened his thin wallet. He held a bill between his fingers for a second, and then handed it to me. It was a single dollar bill, and I could see he only had one other one in there. That was not our biggest donation, of course, over all these years. And yet it was. As he walked purposefully back down the driveway to his old car, I wondered what he had seen and survived that made him understand the importance of assisting our veterans.
Bob & Gladys Rodriguez
My husband and I found out about the Semper Fi & America’s Fund in 2005 (then it was called the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund), when my daughter-in-law told us about a friend who had been injured in Iraq and was at Walter Reed Hospital. We went to visit him, and his wife told us about what wonderful support they had received from the IMSFF, giving her some food, and other items to make their stay at the hospital a bit easier.
Bob and I were touched by this, and contacted the Fund, starting our support at that time.
There are many reasons we support the SF&AF – first of all, our military is such an important part of our country – always risking their lives to protect us and sacrificing a lot by doing this – long times in deployment without seeing their families, missions in dangerous places where their lives are at stake, and fighting always to protect our country.
Our second two reasons are – first, our sons did not choose to join the military, and they live their lives in a safe environment, thanks to those who have chosen to look out for all our citizens through their military career.
Our second reason is my husband and I emigrated from Cuba in 1970 and are eternally grateful to our adopted country for the welcoming love and friendship we have enjoyed during more than 50 years as Americans. We are Americans in our hearts, and will continue to support our military through the SF&AF and in every other way possible for as long as we live. We are eternally grateful to all of them who sacrifice their comfort and even their lives to protect us.
Our injured service members and their families have ahead of them a life of challenges and sad moments, and Bob and I feel a tremendous obligation to do our part in helping them ease their challenges, pain and suffering through this wonderful organization, the SF&AF.
MSgt Dean Zenoni (Ret.) & Dr. Lorri Zenoni
Why We Give? We give because we have been there. As an injured veteran and his wife, we know how life-changing the support from Semper Fi & America’s Fund is. We want to help our fellow brothers and sisters to let them know that no one is left behind. We want them to know that recovery can be a life-long process and there is hope. NEVER give up HOPE!
Jack & Annalise Klien
Why We Give – Rebecca Klien (Children – Jack and Annalise) In 2011, a dear friend lost her husband in Afghanistan, and our family was inspired to look for ways to help military families. When we found Semper Fi & America’s Fund, we knew we’d be supporters for life. My children wanted to help and decided they could best fundraise by baking apple pies and asking for donations to The Fund. The effort was a smash-hit, and the Semper Pie fundraiser has become something we treasure doing every fall. SF&AF has given our family the opportunity to connect with military families and build lifelong friendships. Additional note: Last summer, we planted apple trees. My hope is that in the years to come, we may be able to bake some of our pies using apples from our own little orchard!