$45,000 RAISED




Our 2nd annual event was another huge success!  We could not be more grateful for the support of our veterans, sponsors and attendees that represented 40 area schools and their 200 high school representatives, and over 125 military men and women. 

Featured Keynote Speaker

Click here to see Noah's

interview with 

Eva Aguirre Cooper

Our 2017 luncheon will be highlighted with a keynote address from Noah Galloway, who joined the military in 2001 following 9/11. Sergeant Noah Galloway was assigned to the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On December 19, 2005, three months into his second tour of duty, he was gravely injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Noah lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. His book, LIVING WITH NO EXCUSES, published last August, details how he lost more than limbs, but never gave up. It is a story of success and failure, courage and weakness, tears and triumphs.

Soldier, survivor, competitor brings message to Grand Rapids

May 05, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More than 100 military members will be in downtown Grand Rapids Friday for the inaugural Armed Forces Thanksgiving.

Armed Forces Thanksgiving gives students appreciation of military service

May 06, 2017

"It was absolutely the best decision," Westerlund told Abdi Binti, an 11th grader at Union High School, about his four years in the U.S. Navy. The bonds he made during his military tour remain strong nearly two decades later.

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2017 Armed Forces Thanksgiving Committee

Honorary Chairman
Judge Joseph Rossi, USMC 1988 – 1992


Event Chairmen
Peter G. Ruppert, Fusion Education Group
John Irwin, Huntington Bank
Jeff Lambert, Lambert Edwards & Associates


Event Committee

Captain Catalin Bugan, Michigan Army National Guard

Kevin Cusack, Stifel

Bruce Courtade, Rhoades McKee PC

Joe DiBenedetto, Lambert Edwards & Associates

Tim Feagan, iHeartMedia

Denny Gillem, Frontlines of Freedom Military Talk Radio

Allison Kaufman, Kent Intermediate School District

Major John Keelan, Michigan Army National Guard

Brandi McBride, Move Systems

Don Mulder, Barnett Manufacturing Co.

Tim Parker, Business/Community Leader

Katie Pennington, Holland High School

Dan Zang, Rockford High School


Event Director

Suzanne Wickman, Cause & Effect Event Marketing

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