Veterans Heritage Project hosted Honor Roll, an in-person parade and virtual benefit to honor veterans, celebrate VHP program students, and raise funds for expanding the after-school program.
The event, held on April 17, included veterans’ stories captured and published by students in the 2020 and 2021 editions of the program’s hard-bound book, “Since You Asked.”
Veterans were invited to drive through the parade route in decorated cars. Within the route, students presented each veteran with a book, a hand-written thank you note, a commemorative Honor Roll challenge coin, and a poem written by Shadow Mountain High School student, Steven Rourick, the release said.
The route also featured cheering students and teachers, veteran service photo displays, American and service branch flag lines, vehicles from every military engagement from World War II to the War on Terror, and even a flyover from the Arizona Stearman Squad.
Livestreamed for the public, the 50-minute virtual event opened with remarks from Former Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett, the release added.
Alumni Emma Suttell and Jim Lednicky emceed the event, incorporating special features as they took viewers through the route, including VHP’s Teacher of the Year, student scholarships, and the 1st Annual Alumni Service Award.
The recorded livestream can be viewed at https://www.veteransheritage.org/honor-roll-recap.
“We are grateful to everyone who contributed to making this event a success – the planning committee, sponsors and donors, community partners, students and teachers, and those who tuned in,” said VHP Executive Director Michelle DiMuro in a prepared statement.
“The funds raised will directly benefit VHP’s after-school program, which brings educational enrichment to students in Arizona middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities.”
ProOne Media was the presenting sponsor of Honor Roll. Other sponsors included Salt River Project, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the Rambeau Family, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Hill & Hill Charitable Fund, Employees Community Fund of Boeing Arizona, Thunderbirds’ Charities, the Hall Family, Fuller Family, the Landon Family, and the King Charitable Foundation.
Founded in 2004 and established as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit in 2009, VHP’s mission is to connect students with veterans to honor veterans, preserve America’s heritage, and develop future leaders. VHP has an after-school program in 30 schools, impacting 13,000 students, while interviewing up to 300 veterans annually.
For more information about VHP: veteransheritage.org.