5th Anniversary Call to Arms Gala
On Friday, November 30th, guests gathered in the ballroom of the Altman Building to commemorate the organization Operation: Heal our Heroes (HOH). The organization, founded back in 2014, was created by two friends, Everett Weston and Patrick Bolchoz, after tragically losing their beloved friend, former Army Captain Francis ‘Franky’ Kim to suicide. Today, HOH, works within the American Veteran population to end the epidemic of veteran suicide and has, created ing a resilient community of individuals dedicated to activism and change.
Hosted annually, the Call to Arms Gala is a fundamental opportunity in communicating the message of Heal our Heroes to the public and opening the door toward discussion. The event serves not only as a social benefit, but as a fundraiser, as 100% of proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction are donated directly toward resource funding.
At this year’s event, mental health was an important topic of discussion. Former Marine and a current Barstool Sports spokesperson, Kate (insert last name) shared a piece of her own personal strife with mental health- and ultimately her healing. Her tone was lighthearted and comedic as she gave her speech, but her story nonetheless powerful. We were grateful to speak with Kate afterward to ask about her hope for the sole takeaway of the evening. Kate expressed her main message to be, “No shame in the mental health game... I want it to become to the point where it’s like if you’re going to bed with a sore throat you take melatonin, if you’re sick, you go to the doctor.” Kate’s hope is to normalize the idea of taking care of mental health and believes we should treat our mind the same way we would our body.
In the past, the mental health of our veterans has not been the forefront of discussion leaving our heroes without the true care they deserve. However, with the work of HOH, awareness for their silent battle has spread. Heal our Heroes has been able to provide readily available resources to those who seek them. The organization offers funding for medical care and professional guidance at the need of each veteran.
The 5th Anniversary of the Call to Arms Gala was an amazing and empowering evening -- one not to be forgotten. Tickets are available for purchase to the public, so make sure to join us next year to honor this tremendous cause and hardworking organization.