The 2020 REACT Event was a Huge Success
Every year for the past nine years, the Carrington Charitable Foundation has hosted its celebrated Annual Golf Classic benefitting CCF’s Signature Programs that support post 9/11 combat wounded American Veterans. The Golf Classic has gained such a stellar reputation, it was named the Top Golf Event in Orange County for three consecutive years by the Orange County Business Journal. In 2020, for the 10th annual event, the gathering had a new name, and a new venue. To best ensure the safety of the Veterans CCF supports, REACT: A CCF Virtual Fundraiser, took place online for the first time.
Hosted by Bruce Rose, Carrington Founder and CEO, and Matt Driskill, Special Advisor to the CCF Advisory Board and U.S. Navy Veteran, the online event raised more than $1.2 million for CCF's Signature Programs that help provide Mobility, Stability, Purpose and Prosperity for Veterans returning from post-9/11 battlefields. CCF is the nonprofit organization of The Carrington Companies. For 2020, Corporate Synergies generously donated $75,000 at the Diamond Sponsor level; and Irvine Technology Corporation and Xome contributed at the Platinum Sponsor/$50,000 level.
An event highlight was renowned “anthem artist” Joe Everson’s speed painting of an American eagle – created as Joe simultaneously belted out a spirited medley of “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” – later auctioned for an impressive $17,500. Following Everson’s live painting were stirring video messages from U.S. Army Master Sergeant John Masson, who discussed the importance of remembering the events of 9/11; U.S. Navy Seal Matt Stevens, who outlined his work at The Honor Foundation, which helps Navy SEALs and U.S. Special Operations service members transition to life after service; U.S. Army Sergeant Matthew Melancon, who shared his journey of recovery from his wartime injuries and subsequent surgeries, including the loss of both of his legs; and U.S. Marine Corporal Michael Jernigan, who expounded on the stability his Carrington House home will bring to him and his family.
“Year after year, we continue to support and expand the CCF programs that help Veterans and their families, who have all sacrificed so much to safeguard our freedom,” said Rosemary Rose, Chairman, Carrington Charitable Foundation. “Even during a global pandemic, donors, partners, friends and families joined us in a virtual setting to help us keep our promises to the Veteran families and nonprofit organizations that depend on us for ongoing support.”
Since 2011, the CCF Golf Classic has raised nearly $23 million for CCF’s Signature Programs, which provide diverse ongoing assistance to Veterans and their families. In addition to presentations by Veterans, online attendees bid on a wide variety of items donated by Carrington associates and sponsors, with all proceeds pledged toward CCF’s ongoing mission, which supports Veterans through initiatives that provide:
- Mobility: CCF financially supports The Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). Working with a network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots, the VAC provides free private air transportation for Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and their families.
- Stability: Carrington House provides custom, adaptive homes for catastrophically injured Veterans. To date, Carrington House has built 24 homes for deserving Veterans, each designed to meet the special needs of wounded Veterans and their families. Three more homes currently are in progress.
- Purpose: CCF assists such Veteran-focused nonprofits as the Travis Mills Foundation.
- Prosperity: CCF also supports The Honor Foundation. This pillar of CCF’s Veteran-focused Signature programs works to ease the transition for our Veterans back to civilian life.
In 2004, U.S. Marine Corporal Michael Jernigan was traveling on patrol, when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb made from two 155 mm artillery shells. The explosion threw Jernigan 20 meters from the vehicle; and he suffered a head injury affecting 45 percent of his skull, instantly losing his vision forever. Jernigan also suffered a fractured patella, a damaged femoral artery and damage to fingers and his left knee. He subsequently endured 30 complex surgeries during more than a year in the hospital and in rehab.
“When I think of stability, it means having success and emotional well-being,” Jernigan said. “When you’re blind, out in the world, you have to be hyper-vigilant at all times, always listening for dangers. When I come home at the end of the day, I want to walk into a home where I don’t have to worry. When I come in from that sea of darkness, I’ll be in a home that was adapted to my disability – a safe place. That is what Carrington Charitable Foundation is going to do for me.”