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© Armed Forces Thanksgiving 2019, All Rights Reserved

Our objective in launching the “Armed Forces Thanksgiving” was to raise awareness and dialogue on the contributions our military personnel have made and continue to make on behalf of our country. 

The AFT mission is to give a community salute to our military, past, present and future, while providing an invaluable educational opportunity for high school students. We seek to provide a vehicle for our community, from teens to adults, to understand, honor, and express thanks for the service of each person who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces and to encourage those who will serve in the future. We hope ‘Our Salute’ will encourage the next generation to have a sincere appreciation for all the men and women who have served, on our behalf. With the support of local business leaders, this event has sold out each year and has raised just over $175,000! While our primary mission is to advocate for our military members, we have been able to make a significant donation to the West Michigan Veterans Coalition so that they can continue their mission of improving the lives of veterans, their families and anyone that served in the Armed Forces by connecting them to all available services and resources in West Michigan. 

Communication and related activities don't stop after the luncheon.  High school students are tasked with creating a compelling project and hosting their own military recognition events to coincide with Veteran’s Day the following November.  

About Us

COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN

PETER G. RUPPERT
Co-Chair
JOHN IRWIN
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Fusion Education Group | Co-Chair
Huntington Bank | Co-Chair

BOARD

Bruce Courtade

Rhoades McKee

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Joe DiBenedetto

Lambert & Co.

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Denny Gillem

Frontlines of Freedom Military Talk Radio

Katie Pennington

Holland High School

Jeff Terrill

Flagstar Bank

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Kevin Cusack

Stifel

Kim Lozano

iHeart Media

Bob Hughes

Advantage Benefits

Paul Ryan

United Veterans Council

Kristin Mooney

Gerald R. Ford Public Museum

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LT. Patrick Dean

Grand Rapids Police Department

Brandi McBride

Spartan Nash

Blake Phillips

EQI, Ltd.

MJR Brian Snook

Michigan Army National Guard

Dan Zang

Rockford High School

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EVENT director

Suzanne Wickman

Cause & Effect Event Marketing

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