TEMECULA – The Temecula Grape Stompers, a local square dance club, will hold their second annual Veterans Benefit Dance May 20. It will take place at the Temecula Community Recreation Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula. The theme of the dance is “Salute, Honor, and Support our Veterans,” and the dance will be held on Armed Forces Day with the Semper Fi Fund as the recipient of all donations.
The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.
The Semper Fi Fund was created 14 years ago when the first wave of wounded Marines and sailors, just back from Operation Iraqi Freedom, landed at Camp Pendleton, California. Karen Guenther, a registered nurse and spouse of an active duty Marine, saw firsthand the challenges faced by these wounded Marines and sailors as they returned from Iraq. She and a group of Marine Corps spouses decided to help the wounded and their families, and thus the Semper Fi Fund was born. Today the Semper Fi Fund is still run by volunteers, thus ensuring that 94 percent of all funds collected go directly to those members of the U.S. Armed Forces who urgently need help. The Semper Fi Fund has repeatedly earned an A-plus rating from Charity Watch and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
Members are donating handmade items and a private plane ride to Catalina for the silent auction held in conjunction with the dance. Donation jars will be available for cash donations, and checks can be made payable to the Semper Fi Fund. The club invites the community members to stop by and help support our veterans and at the same time see what modern western square dancing is all about. For more information, contact Jerry Davis, president of the square dance club, (619) 987-4484.