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CRC Golf Tournament

CRC Golf Tournament Supporting Fisher House Southern California

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On Friday, November 4th, 2022, 168 golfers from CRC and Contractor companies competed in the 5th annual Veterans Support Golf Tournament, benefiting Fisher House Southern California Foundation. 

The Fisher House Southern California (FHSC) provides military and veteran families with housing and support so that they can be near their loved ones while they are hospitalized receiving medical treatment at VA hospitals, there is no cost to families.

This year’s event produced a record turnout for outstanding tournament play. We are thankful for the extraordinary generosity of the contractor companies that provided sponsorship this year.

CRC and our Contractor companies were successful in raising $19,000.00 for FHSC this year, a new tournament record.

Special thanks go out to our Platinum sponsors, Raptor Wireline and MRC, additional recognition goes out to Energy Tubulars and Ancon Marine for their gracious in-kind donations allowing the CRC team to make this first ever record donation.

On hand were staff from FHSC to receive the donation check, FHSC President Dr. Gary Hopkins said that “the generosity from CRC and the Contractors provide essential benefit for our military families during their time of need”.

Gold Star Manor

Veteran’s Day at Gold Star Manor

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Amy Mize, Fisher House So Cal Fund Development Associate (second from right), joined in Veterans Day festivities held at the American Gold Star Manor with (left-right): Glen Patrick, CEO of American Gold Star Manor; Commander Tibor Foki (of American Legion Post – Houghton Park) and his spouse, Charl; and Nancy Soltes, former Fisher House So Cal Board member.

The American Legion Post – Houghton Park has pledged $200,000 toward the renovation of the Fisher House at San Diego Naval Medical Center (at Balboa), and toward the ongoing needs of veterans and their families at the Fisher House VA-Long Beach.

Press Telegram Veterans Day

Press Telegram – 1 Fewer Battle for Vets to Fight

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Marine veteran Maurice Guilleaume and his sister Anora are staying at the Fisher House in Long Beach while he receives cancer treatment just steps away at the VA Medical Center. We’re proud to be able to provide lodging to them in our sixteen room home so they don’t have to travel more than 60 miles each day for treatment – at no cost to them and for as long as needed. Watch a 3 minute video tour of the homes.

Press Telegram Article
fisher house long beach

Terry Geiling Family Emergency Fund + Matching Donations

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Lee Madden hadn’t seen her brother in years. Growing up in a household with her father and two brothers serving in the U.S. Airforce for over 35 years, Lee moved to Australia 40 years ago but stayed in touch with her brother, Mark, through phone calls and emails, hoping to see him again after the pandemic. Her opportunity came sooner than she thought, but not under the circumstances for which she had hoped.

You see, her brother Mark, now in his 60’s, a veteran U.S. Air Force medic and a retired nurse at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Long Beach, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. He was immediately admitted to the VA Long Beach, a place where he had taken care of his fellow veterans for so many years. 

Lee received a late-night, long-distance call from a VA social worker who shared that Mark’s dementia was advanced and that she needed to come and help with Mark’s care and affairs. She quickly arranged for an emergency leave from her job, packed, and bought a ticket for the first flight she could get. 

Throughout the 23-hour flight, she wondered where she would stay. Where would she eat? Who would provide the legal, financial and respite care her brother needed?  She worried about the enormous tasks ahead of her and the costs involved. 

The VA social worker who called her assured her, “after landing at LAX, just come directly by taxi to the Fisher House at the VA-Long Beach, where you can stay free of charge, for as long as needed.”  

Lee didn’t know what to expect, but when she arrived, Fisher House Long Beach staff welcomed her warmly, made sure she was comfortable and nourished, and helped her to her beautiful and quiet room, her ‘home away from home’ for the next few weeks. Staff also helped her with her brother’s affairs as she closed out his apartment, sold his car and made plans for his future care.

Afraid of driving in a big, unfamiliar city and on the wrong side of the road, staff helped her with an Uber app and supported her with transportation gift cards so she could get to her many appointments. 

I could not have managed so many urgent and competing demands without the sanctuary of Fisher House. I was shown great kindness, and nothing was too much for the Fisher House team. This was not just a place to stay — it was an island of calm I returned to each evening after hours of struggling with the many demands of clearing my brother’s apartment, choosing a care home, attending to legal matters, and spending precious time with my brother.”

Fisher House Southern California regularly provides this kind of support for all U.S. veterans and military families and their children travelling from other countries, states, and other parts of California to receive their care, or to be with their loved ones getting care at the VA-Long Beach hospital, or Camp Pendleton or San Diego Navy hospitals. Temporary lodging is also provided in the Southland to families traveling far from home when no Fisher House is available, such as near the VA-Loma Linda Medical Center.

We’re asking that you help us continue with this mission.

We’re excited to share with you that through December 31, 2022, every dollar you donate will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 — thanks to the generous donations of $50,000 from the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation, and $25,000 each from the Martin & Clarisse Clancy Foundation and the Fisher House So Cal Board of Directors. (The Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation will specifically cover the emergent needs of the children we serve at our Fisher House-Long Beach.)

And in honor of our recently deceased Fisher House So Cal President, Mr. Terry Geiling, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and a committed leader in our community, we are renaming our fund the Terry Geiling Family Emergency Fund.

As Lee wrote:

I was emotionally and physically exhausted when I arrived in Long Beach, and felt lost. Fisher House was not simply a house – it was my home, and they cared for me just as the VA Medical Center cared for my brother, Mark. I couldn’t have done all that was required without them.” 

And that’s what Fisher House does for veterans and U.S. family members – it provides a ‘home away from home’ for them in their most desperate time of need. And this is why I’m asking you to help us now. Through December 31, 2022, Every Dollar You Donate is doubled! Your dollar is now two!

“Every day when I visited Mark in the hospital, he was very concerned about where I was staying, if I was comfortable, and if I was safe. Each time I told him about Fisher House, he became visibly less concerned and more at peace. I am immensely thankful for what Fisher House gave to my brother!” 

On behalf of the countless future patients and families who will be helped by Fisher House Southern California, Thank You for your generosity, and for your love and concern for our veterans and our military families. We couldn’t do it without you.

About the Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club

Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club Tournament Raises Funds for Fisher Houses – San Diego

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On a beautiful August 25, a full flight of 144 women golfers played 18 holes at the Naval Air Station North Island, in support of the two Fisher Houses-San Diego located at the Naval Medical Center at Balboa, San Diego.

Susan Schelkun, Carrie Campbell-Wood, Carol Rud and Mary Lakatos served as tournament chairs to successfully raise more than $13,500. Proceeds from the tournament will help support the renovation of the older Fisher House-San Diego (the first Fisher House on the west coast), which is now 30 years old.

 

THANK YOU to the Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club for their generous support!

 

About the Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club

The Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club was founded in 1958 by a group of Navy wives. Over the years, their membership has included those who served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II, as well as U.S. Army Nurse Corps and U.S. Navy in the Vietnam era.

 

About the Course

The tournament was played at the Sea ‘N Air Golf Course, which is the most southwestern military golf course in the continental United States. This beautiful course was originally 9-holes only but evolved over the years into an 18-hole course. The Sea ‘N Air Golf Course is situated on the Pacific Ocean with stunning views of the world famous Hotel Del Coronado and the Cabrillo National Park at Point Loma.

Linda Rahn and Mary Lakatos

Linda Rahn, Executive Director of Fisher House So Cal, receives a check of support from Mary Lakatos, President of Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club.

About the Sea ‘N Air Women’s Golf Club

Front row left to right: 

In red shirt, Linda Rahn, Executive Director, FHSC; and Joyce Finley

2nd row left to right:
Lark Herrick, Marti Bonelli, Carol Rud, Mary Lakatos (President), Susan Schelkun, Carrie Campbell-Wood, Marissa Navea, Felicia Bell (Treasurer), Dot Harms (tucked behind), and Kelly Murphy (Vice President)

FHSC Neighborhood Grant 2022

Starbucks Foundation 2022 Neighborhood Grant

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Starbucks Foundation Logo

Thank you, Long Beach Starbucks partners Joseph at the Lakewood/Cover store and Annette of the Bellflower/Stearns store, for our Neighborhood Grant nomination for Fisher House So Cal. We really appreciate your honoring us with this recognition and grant! With help from the @Starbucks Foundation, we’re providing temporary lodging and other “home away from home” comforts for Veterans and Military families while their loved ones are being treated at the VA Long Beach Medical Center.

FHSC Neighborhood Grant 2022

Starbucks Partners presenting Fisher House So Cal and others with 2022 Neighborhood Grants.

FHSC Starbucks Award
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SDPHC – Party with a Purpose Fundraiser

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San Diego Parrot Head Club

The San Diego Parrot Head Club, a 500+ member group of local Jimmy Buffet music fans, host their 27th Annual Party at Campland on the Bay on September 22-25.

Live music Thursday & Friday nights, and all day Saturday, from 10 AM to 10 PM.

$35 Admission includes entry to the Beer Garden, with unlimited beer, wine, wine-based frozen margaritas, sodas and water, over ten bands for live music, Silent Auction and Raffle, and FREE entry to Campland! Part of your admission goes to two amazing local charities:  Fisher House So Cal that provides temporary lodging to military families and veterans At No Cost so they can be near their loved ones being treated for injury or illness at the Naval or Camp Pendleton hospitals, and The Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation that brings animals and children together to help children develop a sense of sonder for nature and its inhabitants.

san diego parrot head clun, 27th anniversary party

About Party with a Purpose

The San Diego Parrot Head Club (SDPHC) is a 501 c(4) Civic Organization founded in 1995 by a group of local Jimmy Buffett music fans who wanted to make a difference in their community.  We are dedicated to preserving and improving the environment and are active in many community-orientated projects. Our club raises money through charity drawings, silent auctions, and donations at club events throughout the year.  In addition, we donate our time to various causes.

During 2019, we raised over $59,000 for various charities throughout San Diego County and volunteered almost 5000 hours.  We assisted 16 non-profits in the San Diego area with time and/or money.  These non-profits supported veterans, people with physical or cognitive challenges or with diseases, children, the environment, hunger, and animals. We ran or participated in water stations, beach cleanup’s, toy drives, and blood drives. Check out our Events for a complete list of what’s next.

Come join the phlock!  Get involved.  We love our members to participate at our monthly business meeting (with a live band afterward), our events, and with our philanthropy.

FHSC General David H. Berger and Colonel Rob Weiler

The Commandant’s Reflections on the Passing of Terry Geiling

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FHSC General David H. Berger and Colonel Rob Weiler

Members of Fisher House So Cal (FHSC) were specially invited by General David H. Berger and his wife, Donna, to join them for the Friday Evening Parade festivities at the 8th Marine Corps barracks in Washington, DC on July 15, 2022.  In photo, General Berger and Donna (far right) are joined by Terry Geiling, FHSC President (center); Mike Lipscombe, FHSC Director; Linda Rahn, FHSC Executive Director; and Colonel Rob Weiler. The Fisher House So Cal team were in Washington, DC to attend a Friends of Fisher House Conference. LCDR Terry Geiling (Ret) passed away in Long Beach, CA on July 30, 2022.

What did Terry do for the families of men and women in the military. Terry did three things for the families of men and women in the military:

1) He cared.
2) He got things done.
3) He advocated.

When Terry retired from the military, by all rights he and Nancy should have just moved on to the next chapter in their lives. They had given so many years, moved around the country and around the world, missed birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. Basically, they had dedicated that portion of their lives to serving their country.

But Terry couldn’t just retire. He wasn’t done giving.

You see, for Terry there was so much more to do. When folks looked around the room for a leader, he stepped up . . . again and again. He deeply cared about surviving (Gold Star) families, and felt that more needed to be done continue supporting them.

So, he stepped in to do something about that. From the various Gold Star organizations to the Manor itself, Terry poured all of his energy and experience into making their lives just a little bit better.

When he came across an obstacle, he moved it out of the way or simply went around. He flew numerous times to Washington DC to drum up support and resources needed, and it was impossible for politicians or donors to say “no” to Terry. He was persuasive and he was effective. He got things done, when others got bogged down by bureaucracy. Terry loved a challenge, and I never saw a challenge he couldn’t overcome. Persistent. Determined. Focused on caring for those unable to care for themselves. Terry was a fighter, in the very best sense. He fought hard for all the right things, things that really matter in this world. He was a champion for the little people.

Terry Geiling

I will miss his personal example.  We could use more Terry Geilings in this world of ours.

Semper Fidelis,
Gen David H. Berger, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Pentagon, Washington DC

Almeida Family

How You and Fisher House So Cal helped the Almeida Family

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Fisher House Southern California | Supporting Americas Military Fisher House So Cal logo gift to fisher house so cal

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to ask you to help us at Fisher House Southern California to provide our veteran and military families with temporary housing – at no cost to them – while their loved ones are treated for an illness or injury at our VA and military hospitals in Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and San Diego.

You see, our veterans and service members don’t always get a say in where their treatment will take place, and they may have to travel hundreds of miles for that care, with a loved one by their side. The costs of housing and living necessities can quickly exceed their financial abilities.

Here is one tragic, yet powerful story. Lieutenant Joel Almeida is an ordained minister who, in 2021, fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a U.S. Navy Chaplain. In November 2021, Joel was transferred with his family to serve at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, the largest US Marine Corps base in the country. And that’s when tragedy struck.

On January 20, as Joel was driving his wife Christie, their twelve year-old daughter Stephany, and their six year-old son, Johnny, their car was struck by a truck. The sheer force of impact caused their car to tumble several times before breaking into pieces. 

Tragically, Christie died instantly. Johnny was ejected from the car in his car seat, seatbelt still buckled. His head hit a large rock and he suffered serious trauma to the brain. Miraculously, Joel and Stephany only suffered minor injuries. Johnny, however, had to be airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Suddenly, Joel was a widower, and his son, Johnny, was fighting for his life, having been placed on life support and in a medically-induced coma to reduce brain hemorrhage. All this was happening in a brand new state with friends and family many miles away, no car and limited resources. Where would he stay while Johnny was recovering at Loma Linda? And on a service member’s limited paycheck, how would he cover the cost to stay in a hotel with Stephany, while Johnny fought for his life over the next month? 

Fortunately, Joel’s fellow Sailors and Marines knew of the Fisher House mission to provide temporary lodging for military families during their medical need – at no cost to them, and they reached out to Fisher House So Cal. While there is no Fisher House near Loma Linda Medical Center, in the spirit of our Fisher House motto – to provide a ‘home away from home’ for military families in their time of medical need – we were able to find Joel and Stephany a hotel near the Loma Linda medical campus.

And thanks to our generous donors, we were able to cover all of the Almeida family’s lodging during this horrible ordeal. For the next month, Joel was able to remain by Johnny’s bedside and focus on his son’s recovery, while Stephany was able to stay with Joel’s mom, who had flown in to be with the family at the hotel.  

Johnny underwent significant care to relieve his trauma, then extensive rehabilitation to learn how to walk and speak again. Now, several months later, Johnny’s doctors are confident that Johnny will make a full recovery by July. Joel, in the meantime, is working to rebuild his family without his wife Christie by his side. That’s how our donors were able to help.

Reflecting, Joel shared with us, “you have no idea just how much Fisher House So Cal helped my family. The amount of love and support from Fisher House helped us pull through, and allowed us to be by Johnny’s bedside hourly. Fisher House is like family. They truly blessed us during our time of need.”  

Fisher House So Cal is very thankful to have helped the Almeida family in their time of need, and to also help many other military families who stay in our Fisher Houses at the VA and Navy hospitals in Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and our two houses in San Diego – at no cost to any of them – thanks to our generous donors. 

With that in mind, we ask you to please consider a gift to Fisher House So Cal today so we can continue to help families like the Almeidas. Thanks to generous friends of Fisher House, your gift will now have double the impact, as every dollar you contribute will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 by July 4 by the family of Beverly Bingham*.  Please use the enclosed envelope to send in your gift, or you can make your gift online at www.FisherHouseSoCal.org today! 

Whatever you can afford, your gift will help our military families just like the Almeidas when they need us most. They will be incredibly grateful for what you do for them. It’s on their behalf and the many other families you will help, that we send our heartfelt, genuine thanks.

Yours truly,
Terry L. Geiling
Lieutenant Commander, USN (Ret)
FHSC President and CEO
Michael M. Frazier
Colonel, USMC (Ret)
FHSC Director and House Liaison
Camp Pendleton and San Diego

* PS: The family of our recently deceased Board member, Beverly Bingham, has made a very generous $25,000 pledge in her memory to match all gifts to our current appeal by JULY 4 – so thanks for sending in your gift TODAY!  We would be very grateful if you would help us meet the Bingham match. Again, on behalf of the many Fisher House families you will help, THANK YOU!

Almeida BUC Slip
Celebration of Life video

Steve Kuykendall Celebration of Life

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On February 20, 2022, there was a wonderful Celebration of Life for Marine Captain Steve Kuykendall, Fisher House So Cal co-founder and Board President, on the USS Battleship Iowa. The event included a fireboat pass-by, helicopter fly-over and naval gun salute. Military honor guard ceremony occurred earlier that day. Semper Fi, Steve!