PenFed Foundation Raises Over $800,000 for Veterans, Military Members, and Families
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 25, 2018 - Military heroes joined community and business leaders to raise over $800,000 at the PenFed Foundation’s 15th annual Military Heroes Golf Classic on Monday, September 24th. Critical issues facing wounded veterans returning from active duty took center stage at a private event held Sunday evening in conjunction with the golf tournament.
PenFed Credit Union covers all operating expenses for the Foundation, so all proceeds from the tournament go directly to PenFed Foundation programs. The PenFed Foundation supports more than 35,000 veterans, active-duty military members and their families each year. The Foundation was created to aid members of these communities who are struggling with financial uncertainty on top of physical and psychological challenges.
“It is an honor to play alongside true warriors who have been on the frontlines making sacrifices for all Americans. Our nation’s wounded veterans face critical issues each and every day, and our PenFed Foundation ensures that a medical emergency will not become a financial emergency. Thanks to everyone who generously supports the PenFed Foundation, our wounded veterans are able to win back their independence,” said PenFed President and CEO James Schenck.
Dan Berschinski, a former U.S. Army infantry officer who was severely wounded in Afghanistan in 2009, was the featured speaker at the pre-tournament event sharing his inspirational story and raising awareness of critical issues facing wounded veterans.
Berschinksi, who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device, spoke at a private pre-tournament dinner on Sunday about the issues facing wounded veterans and how service dogs play an important role in supporting and rehabilitating them.
“In the year and a half that I have had my service dog Bunce, I’ve come to realize that the service he provides goes far beyond the physical,” Berschinski said. “Bunce has already pulled me out of a few dark holes – not physically, but emotionally. PenFed, through its partnership with Canine Companions for Independence, is going to make a real difference in the lives of some very special veterans.”
PenFed is sponsoring the raising of two assistance dogs in-training in partnership with Canine Companions for Independence®. Through this partnership, two PenFed employees are currently raising two dogs and the company plans to expand the program to raise two additional dogs.
At the dinner, Berschinski went on to share how one of the greatest blessings of serving in our armed forces is being able to care and be responsible for a team of soldiers – and how, after an injury, the loss of that leadership role can be devastating. Service dogs help veterans fill that gap, giving them a new opportunity for mutual care and responsibility.
“Separating from the military can be an incredibly disorienting experience for a veteran. Losing that sense of purpose and that feeling of responsibility is incredibly unsettling – and the presence of an injury only makes things more complicated. But a service dog can be a game changer,” Berschinski said.
Since its founding in 2001, the PenFed Foundation has provided more than $30 million in financial support to veterans, active duty service members, families and caregivers, giving them the skills and resources they need to build a strong financial future.
Through its Military Heroes Fund, the Foundation provides support and education in a wide variety of areas, from home-buying assistance to interest-free micro loans and financial assistance for in-home care for wounded veterans.
Most recently, the PenFed Foundation donated $25,000 to the Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) to empower 200 veterans and military family members to re-enter their communities and find their voice. To conclude Sunday’s dinner, ASAP singer-songwriter Dani Figueroa performed acoustic versions of songs with encouraging messages for those who have been hurt to recover with resilience.
Additionally, through its new Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP), the Foundation provides veteran-owned start-ups with seed capital to build and grow their businesses. The goal of the program is to create a robust network of support for these entrepreneurs. The Foundation will also re-invest returns in future veteran-owned businesses.
To learn more about the PenFed Foundation and see a short video about its mission, please visit the PenFed Foundation's website.
About the PenFed Foundation
Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping members of our military community secure their financial future. It provides service members, veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, credit-building, home ownership, and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the Foundation’s personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the Foundation provides. To learn more, visit www.penfedfoundation.org.