• November 12, 2019

Walk for the Wounded raises more than $60,000 in September - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Walk for the Wounded raises more than $60,000 in September

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:35 am

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s 11th Annual Walk for the Wounded Sept. 28 raised more than $60,000 to support Operation First Response’s mission of assisting injured soldiers and their families. 

The results of the 2019 Walk bring the event’s 11-year donation total to more than $800,000. Operation First Response, rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator, will directly contribute more than 98 cents of every dollar raised to injured soldiers who are facing financial, physical, and emotional struggles. 

“I feel so fortunate to have been involved in the first Walk for the Wounded in 2009, to watch the event grow each year, and to meet some of the brave men and women who have been helped by Operation First Response,” said Tricia Ciliberto, a member of the committee that organizes the Ocean City walk. “The volunteers at Operation First Response are truly heroes in their own rights, and it’s our pleasure to do what we can to support them.”

In addition to the substantial funds raised since 2009, Walk for the Wounded has raised awareness of the physical, financial, and emotional struggles encountered by soldiers once they return from battle. Each year, the supporters who attend the opening ceremonies of the Walk hear the personal stories of veterans who faced significant challenges upon their return to the United States, along with descriptions of the assistance they received from Operation First Response.

At the 2019 Walk for the Wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Shoshannah B. Lane described the support that Operation First Response offered to her brother, who suffered from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder after serving. Lieutenant Colonel Lane, who has received the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, Senior Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge, credits Operation First Response with helping her brother make the difficult transition back to civilian life.

Supporters also heard from National Gold Star Mother Susan Price, whose son, United States Marine Sergeant Aaron Michael Kenefick, was ambushed and killed in Ganjal, Afghanistan in 2009. Her determination to stand up for her son and other fallen soldiers has led to a reputation as a passionate veterans’ advocate, as well as appearances on national media programs and veteran-oriented events such as the Walk for the Wounded.

“We’re grateful to the generous sponsors, volunteers, and participants who contributed to the success of this year’s Walk,” said Ciliberto. “We’re also thankful to Lieutenant Colonel Lane and Susan Price, whose moving words reminded all of us why it’s so important to support the incredible work of Operation First Response.”

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