Programs & Services

Military Families Honoured with $1.5 Million Gift

Submitted by velocitypublic relations

Huge outpouring of support for Operation: Western Front

Vancouver, BC – March 3, 2011 – Operation: Western Front (OWF) – a very special initiative organized by mission commanders and philanthropists Warren M. Spitz and W. Brett Wilson to raise awareness and funds for military causes – has collected a stunning $1.5 million in sponsorship and donations. The funds will be donated to various military programs – including Outward Bound for Veterans and Canada Company, a charitable, non-partisan organization that builds a bridge between business and community leaders and the Canadian Military Forces, including providing scholarships to surviving offspring of fallen Canadian Forces personnel. The funds will support a variety of other needs – from medical support to childcare and financial aid – and will be directed through Canada’s True Patriot Love Foundation.

OWF Brett, John, Warren_STORY OWF Desert Troops_STORY OWF Portraits of Honor Warren, Dave, Brett_STORY OWF Warren, Shannon, Gene, Gordon, Brett_STORY“Brett and I have been honoured to organize this event to celebrate the selfless service of Canada’s military – past and present – and their families,” said Spitz. “I have often quoted the line, “If you don’t want to stand behind our troops, try standing in front of them.” Through their support of this event, Western Canada’s business and community leaders have stood up for Canada’s troops – and we’re grateful for their generous support of this often overlooked cause,” added Wilson.

OWF, the first of its kind in Canada, was held March 2, 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with more than 900 people in attendance. Dignitaries such as Minister of Defence Peter MacKay, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk, Premier Gordon Campbell, and Mrs. Laureen Harper were in attendance, along with a number of athletes and other celebrities and a special guest appearance by KISS band member Gene Simmons. Bell Canada was the event’s Presenting Sponsor.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Canadian Forces and their families, I want to thank you for your support,” said General Walter Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. “By being part of this tremendous event, you are demonstrating your pride in Canada’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and women both at home and abroad.”

As part of the festivities, the Vancouver Convention Center was converted into a Forward Operation Base and guests experienced a Night in a Kandahar mess tent. In addition to black-tie and cocktail dress, the unusual dress code invited guests to dress in the colours and style of the military or safari – including camouflage gear.

“This event was a lot of fun but it put an important spotlight on the everyday challenges facing members of the Canadian Forces – and their families,” said Shaun Francis, Chair of the True Patriot Love Foundation. “From paying for fitness equipment for injured soldiers to summer camps for kids whose parents are deployed overseas, these funds will enhance everything we do. And the strong show of support from the Western Canadian business community is a tremendous boost to morale for our troops and their families. Thank you to Warren, Brett, the donors and sponsors for making this such an exceptional event that supports so many worthy recipients.”

Look for an one on one interview with W. Brett Wilson in an upcoming edition of Ubiquitous Magazine.

Photos by VisionPhoto.ca and courtesy of Velocity Public Relations
Top Photo: W. Brett Wilson, John Furlong, CEO of Olympic Organizing Committee 2010, Warren M. Spitz
Second Photo: Troop Enjoying the evening
Third Photo: Warren M. Spitz, Portrait of Honour artist, Dave Sopha, W. Brett Wilson
Bottom Photo: Warren M. Spitz, Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmons (KISS), Premier Gordon Campbell, W. Brett Wilson
Front Page Photo: Warren M. Spitz, General Natynczyk, W. Brett Wilson

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