One moment...one hero...one memory

Posted by Meyer L. Bodoff, CAPĀ©

Mona Allen (left) is joined by Alan Alspaugh of Eagle Strategies and Lynne Candler, Vice President at Frost Wealth Advisors. Alan and Lynne serve on the advisory committee of the Protect the Protector Fund.

In my role I am often asked to describe what the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation does. It's a question that I love to answer, although the answer can be complicated. The foundation has so many doorways to philanthropy it's just not a simple answer. But my perspective has changed. Today, I think the answer has become simple.

It started with our Director of Scholarships and Programs, Mona Allen, who came to my office to discuss a site visit she made. I could tell something special had taken place; Mona's face was almost glowing. That day Mona was joined by two of our professional advisors, Lynne Candler, Vice President at Frost Wealth Advisors and Alan Alspaugh, of Eagle Strategies and together they went to a ribbon cutting ceremony.
 

Sargent Brandon Byers, second from right with his family on the left, offering words of gratitude to the donors, family and friends in attendance.

As Mona described this to me this was no ordinary ribbon cutting ceremony, in fact this was a "Walls of Honor" ceremony. A few months back the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, through its Protect the Protector Fund, was proud to support with the Gary Sinise Foundation in a very unique project. The goal was to build a house from the ground up for a disabled young American veteran, Sergeant Brandon Byers and his family. Specially designed and equipped for an amputee like Brandon, Byers will function and carry on life with his family in a specially designed environment. The "Walls of Honor" ceremony was a brief time to meet the family and literally write words of gratitude on the walls under construction. Alan said "I am constantly amazed of the willingness of our finest young men and women to give it all for their country and the people who call America home". Our Protect the Protector Fund, a fund created by our Professional Advisors to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, was not only helping this veteran but the entire family with this grant.
 

Alan Alspaugh & Sargent Brandon Byers enjoying the morning.

Brandon said he didn't feel like a hero because he volunteered to do the job and he knew the risks. As Lynne put it so eloquently, "there was no doubt this morning that Brandon and his family are true heroes."

As Brandon thanked the group gathered that morning a story was shared. Brandon asked that a bible be placed within the walls of the house as a sign of his and his family's faith and their appreciation for the outpouring of love and support from strangers for this wonderful gift. This special house being built in McKinney, this American hero, the Gary Sinise Foundation along with the help from many supporters including the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, the love and joy expressed by this family, well that's the only description you will ever need of what the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation does. We are humbled by this experience. We thank the Gary Sinise Foundation for allowing us to play a role. And to Sargent Byers thank you for your service.

If you would like to make a donation to the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation Professional Advisors Protect the Protector Fund, a fund to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, please click here and find the Protect the Protector Fund in the dropdown menu. If you would like to join the Protect the Protector Advisory Committee, please email Mona Allen to learn more.

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Contact Us

Dallas Jewish Community Foundation
Byrna & Joe Funk Family Philanthropy Center
12700 Hillcrest Road, Suite 201
Dallas, Texas 75230

E-mail: info@djcf.org
Phone: (214) 615-9351
Fax: (214) 363-5942