By Philip Grey
CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — The Fisher House Foundation, which provides a home away from home for the families of wounded, ill or injured warriors, will be the recipient of three separate fund raising efforts spearheaded by local businesses.
On Friday, Zaxby’s restaurants will participate in a fundraiser that makes giving as easy as possible.
On Sept. 14, stop by either Zaxby’s Clarksville location to eat, and then drop your receipt in the box provided. All proceeds of the day whether eat-in, carry-out or drive -thru will go to Fisher House.
Restaurant owners Jeannie and Tim O’Brien are supporting the efforts of friend and wounded warrior Staff Sgt. Chaz Allen, who will be handbiking the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21 to raise funds for Fisher House Foundation.
On Jan. 22, 2011, while serving as a member of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Allen stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and instantly lost both of his legs above the knee, as well as suffering a break in his right elbow that almost cost him his arm.
His recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center since that time has been nearly miraculous. He took his first steps on prosthetic limbs less than two months later, on March 21, 2011, and handbiked his first Army Ten-Miler less than 10 months later on Oct. 12, finishing with a time of 41:06.
Wife Jessica Allen and her two daughters, Deryn, 10, and Ryann, 7, stayed at Fisher House from March to August 2011 and she said it made all the difference for her girls by giving them a home atmosphere during an extraordinarily trying time of adjustment.
“I’m so glad to pay it forward,” she said of her part in the fundraising effort. “I’m a huge, huge fan of Fisher House.”
She’s not only a fan, but a godsend for the charity, which uses only four percent of funds for administrative costs. Last year the Allens raised $10,000 for Fisher House and want to do better this year.
For the third birthday of Tiny Town Curves on Tuesday, Sept. 18, the club is celebrating by raising money for Fort Campbell Fisher House, a cause that is important to many of its active-duty and military family members.
Charitable contributions are an important source of funding for Fisher House, and Curves has set a goal to raise $1,000 during the day-long celebration.
Doors will open at 5:50 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. with various competitions, festivities and special events throughout the day.
A minimum donation of $1 will enter you into the pull-up or tire-flipping contest from 4-6 p.m., so gather a partner and test your skills against the Curves fitness coaches. Purchase a $7 ticket in advance ($10 at the door) to stick around for a two-hour Zumbathon taught by multiple instructors from 6-8 p.m.
If you’d rather spend the day pampering yourself, stop in earlier for a free hand massage from 2-3:30 p.m. and 5 Hour Energy drink from 3-6 p.m.
The club will also offer discounted enrollments of $25 for those who have been planning to join a gym but haven’t quite made the commitment yet. There is no better time than Sept. 18 when all proceeds from enrollments will be donated to Fisher House.
For more information, visit Curves Tiny Town on Facebook for updates, videos, challenges and a complete schedule. The club is located at 921-C Tiny Town Road and can be reached at 931-542-1931.
In one case, the funds have already been raised and only await the presentation of the check.
On Thursday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m., Fort Campbell Fisher House ambassador and military veteran Scott Hollingsworth will receive a check in the amount of $5,000 from Submarina franchise owners Jennifer and Kevin Piper.
Earlier this year, when the Pipers opened their restaurant at 3095 Fort Campbell Blvd., they promised that $1 from each of their first 5,000 sandwich and salad entrees sold would be donated to the Fort Campbell Fisher House.
To celebrate their achievement, Submarina president and CEO Bruce Rosenthal will fly out to Clarksville to attend the presentation.
Created on the basis that “family is good medicine,” the Fisher House at Fort Campbell provides a supportive, home-like environment and is available at no cost to patients and families receiving treatment at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
There are currently 57 Fisher Houses serving military members and families in the United States and Germany.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski