The Ray Joseph Hutchinson Foundation’s 7th Annual Salute to Heroes Reception, on June 23, 2011, at the South Shore Harbour Hotel, was one of the most special and memorable events of 2011.
This patriotic and heartfelt event is to raise scholarship money for the Ray Joseph Hutchinson Foundation benefiting Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) students, and to honor those who have served, or are serving in our Armed Forces.
Chuck Schneider, Executive Pastor at Sagemont Church, was wonderful as the Master of Ceremonies, and Eddie Harper, wiredin.cc, did a great job as Auctioneer of a very exciting Live Auction. The highlight of the Live Auction was a flight in a Folland Gnat T-1 jet plane.
Ann Hacker - Black Rose Steel, was in charge of both the Live and Silent Auctions, and had JROTC students from the Clear Creek High School helping her: Ionie Carson, Casey Clemen, Daniel Clemen, Kassidy Dees, and Ben Ewing. Heather Fischer - Community Development Coordinator for Hope Village, did the raffle drawings.
The Salute to Heroes VII event underwriter, for the second year in a row, was Mickey Wooten, owner of South Shore Grille. The major sponsors are Steel Trader’s, Black Rose Steel, Hometown Bank of League City, and YourTownTV.com.
RJH Scholarship recipient Arun Joshi sang the Star Spangled Banner and Scholarship recipients Alexandria Mazoch and John Connell gave wonderful speeches.
The RJH Scholarship recipients who attended were Rachael Arend - 2011, Meagan Benavides - 2011, Brian Bloomfield, Brian Boettger - 2011, John Connell, Arun Joshi, Adam Lott, Scott Longmore, Shannon Matis and Alexandria Mazoch. Over $120,000 has been awarded to new and renewed scholarship to date.
In a very special ceremony by Rusty Hicks, President of Combat Marine Outdoors, Lance Corporal Steven May and Lance Corporal McDaniel presented an American Flag and special Combat Marine Outdoors Challenge Coin to World War II and Korea Hero Colonel Joe McPhail, USMC Ret. Colonel McPhail, 89, has three Distinguished Flying Crosses, eleven Air Medals, and flew 240 combat missions in World War II and Korea.
Robert (Gunny) Hiles, USMC Ret., gave a moving speech about the Texas Fallen Wall, and he and his team of decorated retired Marines and holders of the Purple Heart, brought the Texas Fallen Wall to Salute to Heroes VII. The memorial wall bears the names of the faces of all those from Texas who have died on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was a special video, "God's Own Lunatics", created by Joe Gallaway and enhanced by Mike Buehrer, with vivid scenes of military helicopters to commemorate the bravery on the front lines of Vietnam.
A highlight of the evening, were the beautiful and heartwarming Hero paintings by Deborah Hutchinson decorating each table. 100% of the proceeds from the live and silent auction items, raffle tickets and the Hero paintings will create brand-new scholarships for 2011 / 2012.
For more information about the Ray Joseph Hutchinson Foundation, a non-profit organization, please call 281-750-0068, or visit the Ray Joseph Hutchinson Foundation website: www.rjhfoundation.org.