Veterans in Philanthropic: Lean On Me 


TEMECULA – Veterans Temecula Valley will host “Veterans in Philanthropic” Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. at Azusa Pacific University’s Murrieta campus, 40508 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, in Murrieta, recognizing and honoring veterans for their continuing community service in nonprofit organizations. 

“The strength of our communities, the resources we rely on when life-changing events happen, and the human elements behind your communities’ success stories are many times veterans,” Michael “Kaizen” McCracken, the founder and president of Veterans Temecula Valley, said. “I have witnessed Temecula Valley growth not only in population but the spirit of volunteerism as well. Like many of you with firsthand knowledge, nonprofits’ contributions to our community make a positive impact on lives every day.” 

In recognition of the great behind-the-scenes work from local nonprofits, Veterans Temecula Valley will recognize and honor five veterans for their continued service through their nonprofits. The community is invited to nominate a veteran as an Outstanding Community Service Award Honoree. Nominations must include nominees’ highest rank held the branch of service, name of nonprofit associated with, and two to three pages, double spaced, identifying the accomplishments. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31 deadline. 

Sixth-graders from Temecula or Murrieta are invited to enter a literary essay contest, “Why We Honor Veterans.” The five best essays will receive an award during the event. To enter, students should write two to three pages, double spaced, describing a veteran who has had an impact in their life or in their community. The deadline for submission is Oct. 25.

Nonprofits are welcome to set up their booths on a first come, first served basis. The event offers limited space, however. 

The event theme is “Lean on Me,” after the song by Bill Withers. 

“The theme song, ‘Lean On Me,’ summarizes the idea perfectly when it says ‘lean on me when you are not strong, I will be your friend,’ and ‘because someday I am going to need somebody to lean on,’” McCracken said. “Come join us and show our ‘Veterans in Philanthropic’ they can lean on us for support as well. On a personal note, I can never give back enough for the support to me, my family and friends. We are connected more than you may know.” 

Mail essays and veteran nominations to Veterans Temecula Valley, Attn: Michael “Kaizen” McCracken, 27475 Ynez Road, Suite 394, Temecula, CA 92592. 

The 2019 event is sponsored by Azusa Pacific University. 

For more information, contact Veterans Temecula Valley at or visit

— Submitted by Veterans Temecula Valley.