The veterans of the Wiley B. Murray Post will be active next week asking the community to assist with a canned food drive. Items collected are to be donated to the 57 units of the Fisher House in San Antonio, near Brooke Army Medical Center. Supplies needed by families of those wounded veterans are: any canned goods, dry cereals, any packaged, toilet supplies, laundry detergent and cleaning products.
Local Assistance Pledged -
Super S Foods has pledged to assist in the campaign and will allow the American Legion to be in their store to collect donations. If anyone would like to assist with a donation, contact store manager, Clay Bush, at 372-4191.
G & R Grocery has also pledged support for the program. Veterans of the Post will also be at that store asking the public for donations as well. If you would like to donate through G & R Grocery, contact owner, Edward Ragsdale, at 372-3364.
Students of San Saba Elementary School will also be involved. Mr. Bruce Tabor, campus principal, informed the Post that the entire elementary school will be participating. The school also plans to host the Post for a Veterans Day celebration next month.
Sue Timmons, owner of Downtown Video, has also pledged support by offering new releases of DVD movies at $5.00 each (minimum purchase of five movies) for those who would like to donate movies to the Fisher House. If any person would like to buy less than five, the cost will be $8.00 per movie. Ms. Timmons can be contacted at 372-6456.
Other items that are requested are as follows: new crossword puzzle books, new magazines, and gift cards (any dollar amount). Gift cards can be purchased through HEB and Wal-Mart.
The last day of collection will be on Monday, October 29th, and all donated goods will be transported by the American Legion to the Fisher House and Brooke Army Medical Hospital the following day.
History of the Fisher House Program -
1990 - Pauline Trost, wife of Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Carlisle Trost, presents the idea of temporary lodging facilities for families at major military medical centers to Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Fisher.
1991 - President George Bush dedicates the Fisher House™ at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland on June 24th. A second house, at the Forest Glen Annex to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, opens a month later. The Fishers offer a house to the Air Force, and the Secretary of the Air Force asks that the house support Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Based on the success of the houses at Bethesda and Walter Reed, the Fishers decide to expand the program beyond the initial gifts by donating one house for each military service.
1992 - Six Fisher Houses™ are opened: two Air Force houses at Wilford Hall Medical Center - Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and one at Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi, Mississippi; Army houses at Brooke Army Medical Center - Ft. Sam Houston, Texas and Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington; and another house for the Navy at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California. By the end of the year, there are nine houses in operation.
1993 - Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc. is established as the national not-for-profit organization to assist in the coordination of private support and encourage public support for the Fisher House™ program. Three more houses open, bringing the total number of houses in operation to 12.
1994 - Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc. opens an operations office in Rockville, Maryland. Seven more houses are added as follows: Army houses at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, and William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas; Air Force houses at David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, California - Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland - and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. The Navy receives a second house at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland; and the first Fisher House™ supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs opens at the Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, New York. There are now 19 houses in operation.
1995 - The Department of Veterans Affairs receives houses at its medical centers in West Palm Beach, Florida and Minneapolis, Minnesota; and second houses open to support the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia and Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas. There are now 23 houses in operation.
1996 - Operation of the Fisher House™ in Denver, Colorado is transferred from the Department of the Army to the Department of Veterans Affairs, following closure of Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. The house now supports families of patients at the Denver VA Medical Center. Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., receives a second house. At the close of 1996, there are 24 houses in operation.
1997 - A plan to expand the Fisher House™ program to smaller facilities by building "Fisher Suites" is announced. Two more Fisher Houses™ are designed: an Army house supporting Darnell Army Community Hospital, Ft. Hood, Texas, and a second house for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. More than 6,000 families were guests during the year, bringing the total number of families assisted since 1990 to more than 30,000.
1998 - The Fisher Children's Center at Camp Pendleton, California, an affiliated project, is dedicated in March. The 25th Fisher House™, supporting Darnell Army Community Hospital, Ft. Hood, Texas opens over Memorial Day weekend. Mr. M. Anthony Fisher, Zachary's nephew and a managing partner of Fisher Brothers, joins the Board of Directors of Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc. as Vice-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. The Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc., Board of Trustees approves a corporate restructuring, adding the building of Fisher Houses™ to its corporate purposes (a function formerly carried out by the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Armed Services Foundation).
1999 - The Ft. Hood Fisher House™ is formally dedicated, with trustees M. Anthony Fisher and Charles M. Dubroff turning over the keys to LTG Leon LaPorte, Commander, III Corps and Ft. Hood. Program founder and co-chairman, Zachary Fisher, passes away on June 4th. Arnold Fisher, also a nephew of Zachary, becomes Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fisher House™ Foundation, Inc. The Fisher family announces three new projects: Fisher House™ III at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; a Fisher House™ for the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany; and a second Fisher House™ for Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. With the redesignation of the Nightingale House at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a Fisher House™, the network of Fisher Houses™ is now at 26.
2000 - Kenneth Fisher joins M. Anthony Fisher as Vice-Chairmen of Fisher House™ Foundation. Two Fisher Houses™ supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs are approved - one in Cincinnati, Ohio and one in Bay Pines, Florida. A ceremony in Portsmouth, Virginia on June 15th marks the 10th anniversary of the Fisher House™ program. On July 7th, Chairman Arnold Fisher announces that the program has achieved the milestone of having offered one million days of lodging. The total number of families assisted is now more than 40,000.
2001 - Fisher House™ III at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is dedicated on March 8th, and the base commander designates the entire block, including Fisher Houses™ I and II, as well as the Admiral Boorda Center, as "Fisher Square." The 28th Fisher House™, and the first built outside the U.S., is dedicated in Landstuhl, Germany, on June 18th. The 29th Fisher House™, built in a partnership with the Veterans Guest House, was dedicated on October 2nd at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In response to the terrorist attacks on America on September 11th, and the increasing numbers of military forward deployed to the Middle East and Central Asia, the Foundation announced the building of a second Fisher House™ to support the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the only major military medical center in the European theater of operations.
To be continued next week . . .