New touch screen laptops and footballs were given to 25 Gold Star youth Dec. 22 during special presentations by Lettermen of the USA.
The Shades Valley American Legion Post 134 in Homewood made the presentation to children who have lost a military parent in a time of conflict in an event that included words from Secretary of State John Merrill. Members also traveled to Hunstville for another presentation.
According to Lettermen of USA founder and President Darryl Fuhrman, the group bought 25 laptops with a $15,000 grant from the Alabama Coronavirus Relief Fund.
“Letterman of the USA is thrilled that the timing worked out perfectly to present the laptops to these families during the holiday season and are honored to make Christmas just a little brighter for these families who have suffered such a devastating loss,” said Fuhrman.
The national organization is made up of former college athletes, as well as active and former coaches who have teamed up to offer support for honorably discharged veterans, wounded veterans and former college players to get back on track after facing hard times.
“Being able to provide laptops for these kids who have lost a parent in service to our country has truly meant so much to our organization,” said Desmond Holoman, vice president of operations for the Lettermen of the USA. “This is why we exist, to help those who are in need. These servicemen gave all, so giving their children a laptop is just our very small way of saying thank you.”
In addition to the laptop and football presentations last month, the group during the past year focused on providing mobility aids, home improvements and medical payments to several disabled veterans and former college players in need.
Lettermen of the USA is now planning for the third annual “One Yard at a Time Gala” at The Club on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m.
Guests will have the opportunity to meet former college or professional football players, coaches and war heroes while raising money for a great cause.
Former University of Alabama and NFL running back Kerry Goode will be a special guest at the gala. Kerry was diagnosed five years ago with ALS, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit his organization, Goode Foundation, to fight against ALS and research for a cure.
The military honoree for the One Yard at a Time Gala is Mike Durant, president and CEO of Pinnacle Solutions and a New York Times best-selling author. Durant is the pilot depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” who was shot down during the Battle of Mogadishu, in Somalia, in 1993.
Proceeds from the gala and a live auction will benefit discharged veterans, wounded veterans and former college players in need.