By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2009 – A foundation formed by the family of a fallen Marine whose story was told in the HBO movie “Taking Chance” has donated $10,000 to a group that works to help wounded veterans and their families.
Hope for the Warriors, a national nonprofit group, received the donation from the Chance Phelps Foundation during Fleet Week activities in New York on May 22.
Gretchen Mack, mother of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Chance R. Phelps and founder of the Chance Phelps foundation, said her family decided to make the donation based on what they experienced last year in New York at a Hope for the Warriors event that included wounded warriors involved in extensive rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio for loss of limbs, eyesight, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We spent a lot of time with these servicemembers, and were very impressed and touched,” Mack said. “This year, we decided to donate to Hope for the Warriors because what they do for those that serve is incredible.”
The Chance Phelps Foundation, founded after Phelps was killed in Iraq in April 2004, is a nonprofit organization that raises money for donations to various charities that support quality-of-life issues for servicemembers, particularly those who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Tina Atherall, Hope for the Warriors vice president, said the contribution was gratefully accepted and will assist the group in its mission of “No sacrifice forgotten, nor need unmet.”
“We are forever grateful for their dedication and support to the wounded, their families and the families of the fallen,” Atherall said. “This donation will help enhance our various programs: Immediate Needs, Above and Beyond, Hope and Morale, A Warriors Wish, Spouse Scholarships, Family Support Program, Wounded Warrior Barracks and Warrior House.”
Mack and the fallen Marine’s father, John Phelps, presented the donation to Robin Kelleher, president of Hope for the Warriors.
Mack said money donated to Hope for the Warriors was given to her family after she lost her son, and the family wanted to pass the money on.
“Hope for the Warriors help veterans with quality-of-life issues that they and their families may face after deployment,” Mack said. “This may include physical injuries, financial issues and, of course, making sure they get the medical treatment they need and an opportunity to enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation. We are very passionate about being a part of helping our veterans and their families.”