The evening came alive with music, food and drink, awards, intriguing speakers, and an array of exciting prizes at the Cable Center as Veteran’s Passport to Hope (VP2H) hosted its 6th annual gala. Above all of the glitz and fun, the evening will be remembered for the extreme generosity of sponsors and those attending. Guests of the gala raised $94,000 for VP2H and their efforts to support veterans and veterans’ organizations in the Denver area.
Dressed in their finest, gala guests enjoyed cocktails, entertainment and inspirational videos – including a video featuring Tony Drees, executive director; who spoke about VP2H and its mission. Drees was not able to attend the gala as he was recovering from his 70th surgery for a war wound he suffered while serving in the Army during the Gulf War of 1991. Moments later, Drees appeared in a feed recorded just days before, reassuring all everyone that he was ready and excited to continue fighting for veterans’ issues.
“There has never been a more important time to support our veterans. The gala is an exciting event that brings people together in our community who genuinely want to make a difference in the lives of our local veterans,” said Drees. Since its launch in 2012, VP2H has helped almost 11,000 veterans and their families through fundraising events like its annual gala. “Now, more than ever, is the time for us all to document our patriotism, and VP2H is a platform to do just that.”
VP2H helps veterans like Chris Boyer, a veteran who has turned his own challenges with PTSD into a focus on speaking and volunteering on behalf of other veterans. Boyer was honored with the CPT Kevin J Smith Award during the gala and told his inspirational story, including how VP2H has helped him throughout his journey.
“People should support VP2H because it works,” says Boyer. “It’s a local organization that exists with the sole purpose for helping the local veteran community.”
VP2H’s mission is to raise awareness about the issues that today’s veterans are going through; to raise funds to support veteran friendly nonprofits; and to bring veteran friendly nonprofits together in order to collaborate. All three pillars of their mission come together to more effectively and efficiently help veterans.
VP2H raises money throughout the year to support organizations that help veterans transition back into civilian life, overcome trauma, and heal from their wounds, both physically and emotionally. Many of those organizations attended the gala, including Eagles Nest Ranch, Colorado Veterans Project, and the Colorado branch of Volunteers of America.
The evening was sponsored in large part by businesses, organizations, and individuals who generously donated financially and by providing some fascinating prizes for the live and silent auctions. Those sponsors included Infiniti of Denver, Anadarko, Sailor Jerry’s, Breckenridge Brewery, Hero Cellars, Spice of Life, Prism Group, EKS&H, Colorado Veterans Project, AAA Building Maintenance, Omni Financial, Oasis Advantage, Wired Mustang, Visdom and Edie Marks.
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