WaterFurnace Renewable Energy recently donated $31,000 to the United Service Organization (USO) of Indiana, the largest single donation received by the nonprofit military support organization. Tom Huntington, WaterFurnace president and CEO, presented the check during an Oct. 11 news conference at the company's Fort Wayne, IN, manufacturing facility.
Proceeds from the WaterFurnace 23rd Annual Supplier Golf Outing, held Sept. 8 in Fort Wayne, raised $15,500 for the USO organization in Indiana. WaterFurnace matched the amount with a $15,500 contribution, bringing the total donation to $31,000.
"Last year we proudly presented a check in the amount of $20,000 to the USO, which was four times larger than the contribution we made in 2009," said Huntington. "So, you can imagine how thrilled we are to present an even larger check this year and with it, the opportunity to express our appreciation for the men and women who make personal sacrifices on a daily basis to defend our country."
Participants in the golf outing were encouraged to make a donation during an online registration process. In addition, WaterFurnace raised money during the golf outing with on-course fundraising activities that included selling mulligans, USO shirts and mugs.
The outing also included a silent auction featuring autographed memorabilia from a variety of celebrities, including golfers Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, NCAA coaches Brian Kelly and Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Indiana University's Tom Crean, former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and dozens of Indy and NASCAR drivers. In addition, AM General, manufacturers of the HUMMER and HMMWV, donated "A Day at the Track," providing two people with the opportunity to train in and drive AM General vehicles on the company's test track.
A portion of the WaterFurnace donation was used to supply food and refreshments at Family Day on Sept. 10, an event that supports members and families of the Fort Wayne-based 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard. Additional funds will help purchase equipment and supplies for the 122nd Fighter Wing's recently remodeled USO offices and recreational center. The remaining portion of the $31,000 donation will be deposited in a discretionary account that is designed to support military men and women who come through the Indianapolis and Camp Atterbury airports.
The USO is a non-profit, charitable organization that relies on donations from private citizens and corporations. The organization has provided recreational and welfare services to U.S. troops and their families since 1941. It currently has 135 centers in 10 countries, 21 states and the District of Columbia that provide men and women with the comforts of home. Service members and their families visit the USO 6.9 million times a year.