When I was first asked by Remax Realtor, Valerie Cannady, to be the designer for a project with the Texas Sentinels Foundation through Remax Realtors, DFW Associates I’m not going to lie – I had to give it some serious (albeit split-second) thought. Not because it wasn’t an honor to be asked and not because it’s not a tremendously worthwhile project, because of course it most certainly is! But, because I instantly knew the amount of time I would need to devote to it could be very overwhelming with my (already busy) schedule. I’ve done a number of charitable projects – both as a lead designer and as a committee member on a team. And, both entail an enormous amount of time, commitment and devotion – which can sometimes be a bit…well….daunting!
But, when you see this guy (on the right)….
And you read his story –
What can I say? He nearly sacrificed his life (and many of his friends and servicemen before him did lose their lives), so I can have a job to be “so busy” in – and in a country that gives me the comfort and freedom to work.
So….hmmmm……could I sacrifice my time for him?……You bet!
This amazing young man – hero, marine and TSF wounded warrior, Sgt. Erich Ellis – was officially introduced at the formal Texas Sentinels “kick off” event….
Which would jumpstart the many fundraisers needed to help raise the money to build this very deserving marine’s new home.
Mal Smith (shown here to the left of Erich), is a sales manager with REMAX, DFW Associates, and “chairman extraordinaire” over this TSF project. He has been working tirelessly for the last year and a half, overseeing the many fundraising events with REMAX and a team of generous volunteers. They’ve organized and put on numerous charity events in order to secure the much needed funds to provide this amazing young man with a home – mortgage free and fully decorated.
Like our casino night fundraiser….
Where Erich met this sweet young boy, Justin, who wanted to donate some of his own money! to help out with the project. Even at his young tender age he realizes and understands the sacrifice Erich and other military men and women make for our country and insisted on being a part of it. Precious, amazing and deeply touching! As you can see he and Erich became fast friends.
Sgt. Erich Ellis and myself. At age 29 he’s right in the middle of my two son’s ages (27 and 30) – which makes his story tug at this mom’s heartstrings even more. How can I not wonder…..what if this were one of my boys?
With our sweet friend, Justin.
Numerous additional fundraisers were also carried out and generous donations made which enabled the land to be purchased. Michael Cannady, owner of Precision Builders (who is building Erich’s home), and his lovely wife, Valerie, had been looking for quite some time before the right piece of property was selected and secured.
When the time finally came to commence the building process we had a groundbreaking ceremony to honor the occasion.
Hosted by REMAX, DFW Associates…..
It was an eventful moment replete with numerous speakers including Erich himself. Chairman, Mal Smith, began with a sincere thank you to all the vendors and donors who have so generously volunteered their time and/or money. To say we’re grateful for all the generosity is an understatement. It’s been so touching to see so many people genuinely care and so eager to help.
Dick Army, former Texas State Representative and House Majority Leader, gave an emotional, heartfelt speech in honor of Erich, his fellow marines and our beloved country.
The mayor of Sanger, Texas, Thomas Muir, also spoke…
And, of course, the co-founder of the Texas Sentinels Organization, Richard Filip, himself.
Richard and his wife Jeanne, determined to give back to the military men and women who have served our country, are the ones who founded this meaningful, worthwhile organization in 2007. They’ve helped many deserving servicemen and their families move in to brand new homes. Hats off to them and Texas Sentinels Foundation! Thanks for all that you do!
Mark Wolfe, owner of Remax, DFW Associates, was instrumental in kicking off this project by making a commitment to the Texas Sentinels Foundation for this home and a sizable donation to kick-start the fundraising campaign. Without him none of this would be taking place. Thanks, Mark, for initiating this wonderful project, your patriotism and commitment to this cause!
Eric shared some of his story and expressed his appreciation. (He’s a very good speaker I might add.)
Michael Cannady of Precision Builders here with Erich and the dynamic, formidable Dick Army. Michael, as the “builder extraordinaire” in charge of the entire project, has done a phenomenal job in getting vendors to contribute their time and resources to make this happen.
The crowd gathering here to celebrate the momentous groundbreaking.
Me with Erich.
Mal (who has been invaluable as our fundraising guru), his wife, Cindi, and our very deserving wounded warrior, Erich. All celebrating this happy day….
As the groundbreaking is official and the project begins.
And, here’s a glimpse of his future home.
I can’t wait to share more photo’s of the progress and interior selections.
Now that it’s well underway we are tentatively shooting for a December move in date. I’m not sure yet if that’s going to happen, but am hopeful. Keep your fingers crossed….we would all love to have him in before the Christmas holiday!
I’ll keep you posted!