Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Eastern Expo Challenges Nationwide Bloggers in Support of Soldiers’ Angels

Business people from Southern New Hampshire are getting a jump on the upcoming Valour-IT fundraser by conducting a little fundraiser of their own. From the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce:

Eastern Expo Challenges Nationwide Bloggers in Support of Soldiers’ Angels

Attendees of the Southern New Hampshire Expo will be taking on the blogging world on October 22 at the Hampshire Dome in a competition to raise money for wounded veterans. At stake is the goal of supplying voice-activated laptops through Soldiers’ Angels Project Valour-IT to servicemen and women who were injured while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce is partnering with local Soldiers’ Angel volunteers to raise funds for Valour-IT laptops through direct donations or by admission to the Expo. “Mention the name Soldiers’ Angels at the door, and one dollar of every paid admission to the Expo will go to Soldiers’ Angels,” explains Richard Mori of Mori Books, Co-Chairman of the event. “We are hoping to raise enough money to purchase at least 10 of them.”

This real world effort in Milford is competing with a cyber network of blogging supporters who will be raising funds for Valour-IT through their websites, beginning on October 26. Bloggers and other New Media mavens will compete as teams of Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force supporters to see who can raise the most money for laptops and other technology that supports the recovery of wounded warriors.

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. These laptops are important to a wounded service member's recovery. Not only do they allow communication with family and friends, but they can be a powerful tool for recovery as patients educate themselves on medical treatments and use computer-based treatment/recovery tools.

Matt Bernard of Brinestone Network Security and IT Consulting, a twice-decorated Purple Heart veteran of Iraq, brought Valour-IT to the attention of the Chamber’s Expo committee. “Soldiers’ Angels was the first group to reach out to me when I landed back in NH after being wounded. They provided what I needed to get back on my feet. I know how necessary these laptops are to get people on their feet,” Bernard explains. “Getting this fundraiser underway is just my way of paying it forward.”

The Souhegan Valley Chamber reaches beyond the typical business to business connections in planning its events. “This partnership with Soldiers’ Angels is one more way the Chamber is providing a vehicle for the nonprofits that serve our communities to raise the money needed to do the important work they do,” from Mike Brisebois, Hitchiner Manufacturing and Co-Chairman of the Expo. “All the organizations – business, civic, government form a network that supports the towns and our citizens. The success of one lends strength to the others. We hope everyone will help us by attending the Expo on October 22 at the Hampshire Dome in Milford.” Over 150 booths will be displaying the products, services and food samplings of the exhibitors from all over the region, northern MA and southern NH. Major sponsors for The Southern NH Expo are Walmart, First Colebrook Bank, PSNH and the Cabinet Press.

Those who want to donate directly to SA and credit it to this fundraising event can use the donation buttons on the SA site, then add "from Souhegan" in the comments section. For more information, contact May Balsama:, 603-673-4360.

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