Another New Year Upon Us – 2018

Time to Reflect

As the New Year is upon us makes me reflect on the things I dreamed of5k Thompson Park in Memory of SPC. Michael L. Gonzalez for Michael.  I never imagined when Michael was born that one day he would join the military or even fathomed he would die in a war.  As the new year rolls in Michael's 30th birthday is right around the corner January 22.  If things were different maybe I would be a grandmother now and babysitting so Michael and his wife could bring in the New Year.

5k Thompson Park in Memory of SPC. Michael L. Gonzalez

But.... Things are not different life takes paths that no one can explain. Instead we honor Spc Michael L Gonzalez's memory and legacy with fundraisers Dinner/Dance in the spring and a 5K at Thompson Park in the fall to support other veterans that call Michael their Brother in Arms. 2018 will be our 10th Annual dinner dance and our 6th 5K.  All of this can not be done without all of our sponsors , donors and those who continue to support us.  Click HERE to view the companies that sponsored the 2017 5K. With a grateful heart we thank  all of our sponsors, donors, runners and dancers!!!  Wishing all of you the best in 2018!!!!

Organizations we supported in 2017:

Hoof Prints on The Heart:  https://www.hoofprintsontheheart.org/

ARMS :   https://supportarms.org/

Courageous Healers: https://www.courageoushealers.org/

Amazing Grace - Operation Safe Haven: https://opsafehaven.com/

New Jersey Run for the Fallen mile for SPC. Michael L. Gonzalez

New Jersey Run for the Fallen mile for SPC. Michael L. Gonzalez

The New Jersey Run for the Fallen does a fantastic job with their annual run across New Jersey. This is from their website. "Our mission is to Honor and Remember the Fallen Heroes of New Jersey and to aid the healing process for those Gold Star Families whose lives have been affected. The New Jersey Run for the Fallen is an organization of runners and support crew whose mission is clear and simple: To run one mile for every New Jersey service member killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. Each mile of sweat and pain and each flag saluted, is to pay homage to one service member’s life and their family."

Friends and family of the fallen solider can run the mile with the runners of the NJ Run for the Fallen. Those who aren't able to run can be at the destination where they recognize the sacrifice of the fallen soldier.

It's a wonderful cause to support.  To be apart of it is the only way one can possibly get a full understanding of how powerful it is.  The two videos below will help you get a better understanding how this isn't just another one mile run.

Take a look at both of the below videos

The first video was during the run.

This second video was at the finish.

Our 5th Annual 5k Race and 1 Mile Walk in memory of Michael L. Gonzalez.

Butterfly Circle of Friends 5k Race and 1 Mile walk in Memory of Michael L. Gonzalez

Michael L. Gonzalez

On September 10th, 2017 the Butterfly Circle of Friends had their 5th Annual 5k Race and 1 Mile Walk in memory of Michael L. Gonzalez. It was a perfect day to be outside. We raised over four thousand dollars for veterans and we couldn't have done it without all of those who ran and walked and we also couldn't do it without the generosity of our sponsors. All of the monies raised will help veterans get the assistants that they both need and deserve.

Our focus when choosing a project to donate to are ones that helps soldiers get back on their feet. To help them to become independent self sustained civilians. Whether it's the homes we donated to the Save Haven Micro Houses for Veterans or sponsoring programs to help women veterans as we did with Vet Chat and Chew .  The programs we sponsor are ones where soldiers get the tools they need so they can live their best life.

Our other focus is and always will be to keep Michael's memory alive. We would like to thank all the participants that help make that happen and we would like to thank the sponsors for making this all possible.

The Gonzo Cottage – Safe Haven Micro Housing for Veterans

The GONZO Cottage

The Gonzo Cottage Safe Haven Micro Housing for Veterans

A beautful 65 acre lake on the property that is loaded with fish.

Thank you to all who attended our 4th Annual 5K in spite of the cold and rainy day. We appreciate your continued support. This year the funds raised at our 5K will be donated to Amazing Grace Ministries towards Operation Safe Haven Micro Housing for Veterans in memory of Michael L. Gonzalez. (The Gonzo Cottage).

Rob Wilson and I visited the Safe Haven property in Franklinville, New Jersey on Friday October 7, 2016. Donnie the founder and Tony the Director gave us the grand tour of the 277 acre property. The property was originally a campground so it is all nature, woods, dirt trails and creeks. There is a 65 acre lake all I can say is serene. The micro housing for the veterans will be set away on 60 acres of the property with the hopes of having 65 homes that are 300 sq feet. All have kitchen, living room, bedroom and a bathroom. There will be campgrounds for family to come and visit.

Amazing visit and the site is awesome they have many ideas implemented already and working hard on their vision. There is already electric and sewer in place. A larger company is going in to help clear some of the campsites and also restore showers and bathrooms. Also providing job placement for the veterans. January 2016 is when they acquired the property with hopes of completing all housing by 2018. All of the veterans who live there will be required to help maintain the property.

There will be counseling, VA services, employment services, educational services and equine therapy. They will have livestock and agriculture. Fresh eggs from chickens I never tried a fresh egg. Donnie was gracious enough to share a dozen with me.

BCOF vetted them before we went to visit the site. When I stepped on the property I knew that it was perfect place for veterans to find their way back into the civilian world. When Rob and I were walking out we talked that it is something we are definitely going to so we went back in and I said “I think I just bought $10,500 eggs” In my heart I know that the “Gonzo Cottage” will be a healing place for many. What an awesome way to honor Michael’s memory.

Click HERE to learn more about this project.

Below are some pictures from our visit. Click on an image to view the gallery.





 

 

 

3rd Annual 5k Race, 1 Mile Walk, Kids Race

To register click here!

18 x 24 lawn sign outlinesWe are looking forward to this years 5k Race, 1 Mile Walk and Kids Race on October 25, 2015.  Each year we try to make it bigger and better and this year we did just that. Not only do we depend on the runners and walkers, the corporate and business sponsorship's makes up for most of our  fund-raising totals. This event would not be possible without these sponsors. If you would like to make a donation or have a company and want to sponsor this event to help us off-set the cost you can click here. We've been donating the funds we raise to non-profits that already have fantastic programs in place to help veterans and active military with PTSD.  Vets Chat & Chew is one and Spring Reins of Life is another just to name a couple. We have also created the Spc Michael L Gonzalez scholarship for veterans at Middlesex County College. Without your participation none of this would be possible.

Below are some of the pictures from our 2014 5k Race, one mile walk, and kids race.

[meteor_slideshow slideshow=5k Race, 1 Mile Walk, Kids Race]