2016 was the first full year of our Foundation’s official nonprofit status and what a year it has been!!
Here are a few of our top highlights:
- We kicked off January with a service day on the slopes for Navy Gold Star family members and wounded warriors in partnership with Two Top Adaptive Sports Foundation at Whitetail Ski Resort. This was Delaney’s first official day on the job as our family’s service-dog-in-training from Warrior Canine Connection. She has continued her training with WCC and has been working hard towards her promotions, bringing so much love to our family and to everyone she meets!
- On February 29th, Team Val participated for the second consecutive year in the 6th annual 100k Vertical Challenge skiing event and fundraiser at Whitetail Resort for Two Top Adaptive Sports Foundation. Our team came in first place and raised over $12,000 for Two Top!
- We had a very exciting March at the Women in Aviation, International conference in Nashville. We were thrilled to have awarded the third annual LT Valerie Cappelaere Delaney Memorial Scholarship to Army Captain Danielle Williams who is pursuing her private pilot license and has an intense love of sky diving. We connected with our two past scholarship recipients and other Navy girls and even shared Val’s story as one of the educational breakout sessions. It was an especially memorable way to spend the three-year anniversary of Val’s passing.
- Inspired by Travis Manion Foundation‘s motto “Honor the Fallen by Challenging the Living”, Pat has been putting his engineer mind and software skills to work on a unique challenge coin concept with the technology to track the coin’s travels and challenges on a map for all to share. The CTC Foundation has been extremely generous is funding our efforts to develop and pilot these challenge coins- check them out at www.coinsforval.org. We have given the first batch of these coins out all year, including to the graduating seniors of the Navy Women’s Lacrosse team during their post-game reception in May.
- Our most popular blog post came in June when Captain Katie Higgins, first female to fly with the US Navy Blue Angels sent us a set of her pilot’s wings to add to our collection of female military aviator wings on display as part of our Wings for Val Exhibit at Arlington National Cemetery. This post reached over 30,000 people on Facebook!
- In August, we supported the Travis Manion Foundation at Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center with the women’s soccer and volleyball teams of UMBC Athletics. With the guidance of TMF and W4V advisors, the teams completed a series of physical and psychological obstacles, building their character and leadership in honor of our fallen heroes.
- Our 2nd annual fundraising event in September was OUT OF THIS WORLD!! We took it up a few notches from last year with NASA Astronaut, Nicole Mann, as our guest speaker for Saturday’s events at USNA and at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington, generating some great press coverage for us (including a live TV interview on NBC4 and shoutout by Kimberly Guilfoyle on Fox News “The Five”!) It was also very serendipitous that our events coincided with the 40th anniversary of women at the Naval Academy. The excitement continued on Sunday with over 180 runners (up from 65 last year!) on our Wings for Val team in the Travis Manion Foundation‘s Annapolis 9/11 Heroes Run. We even had runners supporting Team W4V in the San Diego race and in Paris! Throughout the weekend, we raised over $15,000 towards supporting our mission (up from $10,000 last year)!!
- We debuted an incredible short film that was made for us by 3 Penny Films about Val and our Foundation.
- In October, at the Navy Women’s Lacrosse alumni night, Caitlin Hill (Val’s friend and fellow USNA alum) gave the second annual Wings for Val award to senior Meghan Hubley. Her name was etched into a custom plaque that will hang proudly and accumulate with a new name each year.
- Pat, as an ambassador for the Travis Manion Foundation‘s “Character Does Matter” program, completed several presentations to share a message of courage, integrity, leadership, and service with young adults in the area. We are working to adapt this presentation to include several stories of female fallen heroes to be able to especially focus on inspiring young women.
- Finally, for some social media updates — we had over 18,000 views on our website this year (up 2,000 from last year)! Facebook also had a big jump this year from 735 likes to 1,039… can we get to 1,500 this year?!
I’m extremely humbled, amazed and thankful reflecting back on all that we’ve done this past year to continue honoring Val’s legacy and inspire the next generation of female leaders. We have had incredible support in this second year and we are so grateful!! Please consider continued contributions by donating online. We have a lot of exciting things in store for 2017 and we can’t do it without your support!
Many blessing for a faithful, fearless 2017!