Salute Our Soldiers
Salute Our Soldiers event in Nashua raises nearly $200,000By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
November 10. 2013 8:56PM
NASHUA — On the eve of Veterans Day, about 360 people gathered on Sunday to raise funds for soldiers and their families who are deployed or returning home from service.
The Salute Our Soldiers event was the second of its kind organized by Veterans Count and hosted in Nashua.
The event was sponsored in part by the New Hampshire Union Leader. The presenting sponsor was Service Credit Union, with supporting sponsors Harris Trophy, Diggins and Rose Moving Co., Weisman Tessier Lambert and Halloran, and more.
"People who serve our country are not used to asking for help, but the need grows and these men and women need to know that it is OK to raise their hands and ask for assistance," said Brian Murphy of Nashua.
"It is so important to take care of the guys and gals who did make it home," said Murphy, part of the founding group of Nashua's Veterans Count organization.
His father, Dennis Murphy, of Nashua, agreed.
"This event is to honor those who never came home, and to help those that did make it home but might be struggling," said Dennis Murphy, who served in the Marines from 1953-1987. "Veterans Day means a great deal to me, and recognizing the day is critical."
Nearly $200,000 was raised at the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The funds will be used to help veterans and their families with employment, housing and medical needs.
Local businessman Sy Mahfuz coordinated this year's Veterans Count event in Nashua with Tom Tessier, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Money raised from the dinner will help to fund care coordinators who help New Hampshire military members, veterans and their families who are in need of short-term, emergency help or services.
The keynote speaker was Kevin Maurer, co-author of "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden."
Las Vegas entertainer and performer Tony Pace, of Londonderry, returned this year to wow the crowd.
According to Mahfuz, 95 cents on every dollar goes directly back to Veterans Count Club, a program of Easter Seals New Hampshire.
Last year, care coordinators for the program successfully intervened in 29 potential suicide situations, assisted 104 participants secure permanent employment and helped 54 families who were at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes, said Mahfuz.
To learn more about Veterans Counts, visit www.nh.easterseals.com. To seek services from Veterans Count, call 621-3456.