Thank you for your support for Tailgate with a Hero. We had a great time October 2, 2010 at the DeBakey VA campus. The weather was incredible and so was the food! We have come a long way in just a little over one year. Some items to note:
1. We served about 2,000 meals including over 500 that were transported into the hospital for those unable to come outside.
2. We had 180 volunteers who signed in. The organizations represented include Mission Bend United Methodist, First Baptist of Navasota, Colony Baptist, Grace Church of Missouri City, Grandview Fellowship, Bear Creek/Copperfield Rotary Club, Exchange Club of Richmond, Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Sunrise Kiwanis Club, TaxTech, The Taste of Texas Restaurant, Johnson Development Corp., Champions Hydrolawn, Costello, Inc., DeBakey High School National Honor Society, Saint Thomas High School, and others.
3. We raised just under $7,000 which is way over our goal of $5,000. This does not include the Taste of Texas group and their sponsors (what a rig they had!). We haven't sorted out all of the expenses yet but I think there will be significant funding remaining and, if so, we will be having additional events to honor our veterans and/or active duty service members. More on that to follow when we have exact numbers. We will get all of the sponsors listed on the website.
4. October 2, 2010 was declared Tailgate with a Hero Day by the Houston City Council and Mayor! We will get a scan of the proclamation on the website.
5. We had two United States Congressmen attend the Tailgate last Saturday - Congressman Gene Green and Congressman Pete Olson.
6. Kim Davis from Channel 2 served as our emcee and did a great job if you could hear her - more on the sound system below.
7. We even had fireworks! Who knew those mylar balloons are such good conductors? If you were there late in the afternoon when the balloons floated up into the power lines you know what I am talking about.
There are a couple of areas where we can improve and any additional comments you may have are welcome (but no whining please). Here is what we discussed at the end of the Tailgate and at MBUMC yesterday:
8. We need to have more veterans and service members present. We somehow need to get the word out to more veterans groups and active duty service members that they and their families are welcome. We will be having an after-event meeting with the VA soon (let me know if you would like to attend) and this will be one of the items up for discussion.
9. We need a PA system that can be heard throughout the parking lot. The system we had was a huge upgrade from last year, and worked very well for the area up by the big tent, but I was told that the folks at the back of the parking lot could not hear any of the announcements. We may have someone already on board with the group who can set up more speakers throughout the parking lot next year. We are learning how to do this as we go.
We have lots of pictures from Saturday that we will get on the website (tailgatewithahero.org).
Thank you again and remember we will be back at the VA on the first Saturday in October. Next year that is October 1st. See you then! More info to follow when we figure out an follow-on events.