Our StopGap for Heroes local veterans enjoyed a great time of fun and fellowship at our inaugural event on June 30th, 2019. The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre sponsored a Heroes Music and Dessert Social that had a great turnout. Veterans and their families mingled among each other and enjoyed the variety of desserts. The favorite seemed to be the sundae bar where vets could create their own ice cream design and structure – never could do that in the field! They also received their first taste of our new organization, created to support them in more ways than they realized.
Karen Walker, CEO of StopGap for Heroes, welcomed the crowd and told the story of how she was compelled to start the organization after contact with several veterans and their families who seemed to “fall through the cracks” of the VA and other veteran groups due to isolation. Karen, who works at the Durham VA, noticed a “Gap” that needed to be filled, so she started StopGap for Heroes to help vets with successful integration into their local community.
Karen told the crowd, “We are committed to provide a variety of services to support our local veterans,” and she mentioned some of the upcoming events and opportunities. She introduced her Board of Directors who are all involved in the different areas of support. Surveys were provided to get a feel for specific needs among the veterans, and Karen and her group will take aim at these particular requests and desires.
And there was music – live music! The Renaissance Centre sponsored the musical group, Capitol Transit Band, that was perfect for the crowd. Several veterans took to the dance floor to enjoy the opportunity. There were several door prizes given out and everyone thoroughly enjoyed making new friends and acquaintances.
One veteran summed it up by saying, “Wow, cold ice cream on a hot day, with great music and friends, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
There will be many more fun events like this to come – keep in touch with StopGap for Heroes !