The Wilton-based Arthur J. Wall Memorial Scholarship Fund recently announced the 2021 recipient of the fund’s Community Outreach Program, awarding $5,000 to the Disabled American Veterans CT Service Foundation (DAV CT). As part of this year’s contribution, members of the Wall family went a step further, meeting with several members of the military receiving care at Walter Reed Medical Center and Fort Belvoir.
The Scholarship Fund was created the Wall family, longtime Wilton residents, to continue the work of their patriarch, Art Wall, who had devoted much of his time to many Wilton civic and community organizations. After Art passed away in 1999, his wife, Sue, and sons, Kevin, David and Brian, created the Arthur J. Wall, Jr. Scholarship Fund to support individuals and organizations that give back to the community.
Every year the fund acknowledges two Wilton High School student athletes who have dedicated significant community service involvement, giving $5,000 each to one male and one female graduating senior. In 2012 the Fund added its Community Outreach Program to help other local and regional 501 (c)(3) organizations with their missions as well.
Both programs are fully funded by proceeds from the Annual Art Wall Golf Outing held each September for the last 23 years. To date, over $200,000 has been distributed, of which $56,000 was awarded to 11 Community Outreach recipients. This year marked the 10th Annual Community Outreach award.
The mission of the 2021 recipient, Disabled American Veterans CT Service Foundation (DAV CT) is to empower veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. They accomplish this by making sure veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interest of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. One hundred percent of donations made to DAV CT are used to directly benefit wounded troops and disabled veterans.
The $5,000 donation to DAV CT was earmarked for two special programs: Operation Gift Cards, which builds “Thank You” kits that include post exchange gift cards and information on benefits available to patients when they return home; and Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP), which organizes outings for veterans who are “shut-in” patients in hospitals or nursing homes. Trip examples include fishing trips, the 9/11 Memorial, Mystic Aquarium, or family functions.
On Dec. 15 and 16, Kevin Wall and his son Michael accompanied local veterans on their monthly trip to Fort Belvoir in Virginia and Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland. They joined in distributing care packages, personal items, clothing, and laptops donated to DAV CT by various organizations to American Red Cross and Fisher House offices. Additional stops were also made to the USO Buildings at Fort Belvoir and Walter Reed Medical Center where gift cards and thank you notes were distributed to the service men and women who were on base receiving treatment.
“It was an honor to represent the Art Wall Scholarship Fund and all who support our annual golf outing and join the local veterans to distribute gift cards. Having the opportunity to say, ‘Thank you,’ to the soldiers and their families in person, as well as speak with the medical and support staff who do so much for the soldiers, was a powerful moment for sure. Al Meadows and the DAV CT do great things making sure those who gave so much to this country have what they need and that each patient understands the resources are available to them once they return back home” Kevin Wall said.
“The Operation Gift Cards committee is extremely appreciative of our co-sponsors, especially those co-sponsors like Kevin Wall and the Arthur J. Wall Scholarship Fund, who not only provide the financial support to purchase the post exchange gift cards for our wounded troops, but also take the time out of their busy schedules to participate in one of our two-day monthly visits to distribute donated items.” said Al Meadows, Chairman of Operation Gift Cards and Past State Commander for CT Disabled American Veterans.