Last week in Boise, Idaho, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, in cooperation with the American Warrior Initiative (AWI), hosted the first American Warrior Gala. This event included a VIP reception, online auction, book and T-shirt sales, and a “wall of wine”— all to raise money for veterans. The final fundraising total is still to be determined, but Boise Branch Managers expect to have additional funds to donate to their local area veterans.
At the Gala, AWI gifted three honorariums to the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers, 208 Cares, and Idaho Veterans Network. The 208 Cares organization retrofits homes for disabled veterans to best suit their needs. The Idaho Veterans Network takes veterans on hunting and fishing trips so that they can build relationships with other veterans.
AWI raised $15,000 during the online auction and gave $10,000 to Idaho Veterans Network, as well as $500 each to the other charities honored at the gala. The gala attracted over 250 attendees, including the mayor of Meridian, ID; generals from the air force base in Mountain Home, ID; Realtors; brokers and construction companies.
Boise area Branch Manager, Traci Sansinena, was the visionary on this gala. After attending the AWI Boot Camp and Idaho Association of Realtors Annual Conference in Sun Valley, ID, Sansinena was so impressed with the message and passion for our military men and women that she wanted an opportunity to expose Fairway employees and other community members to the American Warrior Initiative. Sansinena suggested that something be held the night before the returning AWI Boot Camp; and thus, the American Warrior Gala was born. Mandee Day, another attendee of the AWI Boot Camp and Idaho Association of Realtors Annual Conference, applied her non-profit background and was the emcee for the night.
Continuing Education (CE) training the next day came during a “Boot Camp,” which is far more than a traditional real estate CE. AWI’s mission is to leave each Realtor informed about ways that they can help a veteran or active duty military person or family. Louise Thaxton, co-founder of AWI, reminds the real estate agents at each event that “we can all just do one thing to make a difference.” You never know what that one action or passion to serve can do in our community or the life of a service member!
Boise Branch Manager, Bryan Booth, was thrilled with the event! He commented:
“The AWI Gala was a first of its kind. The event as a whole went off without any glitches and the committee that was formed for the Gala was made up of LOs and Managers from all five Boise branches. The event was a huge success for the first of its kind, and we look forward to possibly making it an annual event that will help draw the whole community in to help raise funds and awareness [for] our veterans. Everyone I spoke to, from real estate agents to engineers in the audience, left with such a special feeling. The event has created roots and can only grow every year in order to ‘Serve those who have served us!’”
The American Warrior Initiative is the giving arm of Fairway. AWI seeks to ease the transition for U.S. veterans between military and civilian life. The mission of the American Warrior Initiative is to inspire, educate and give back to our military and their families.
I am proud to work for a company that does so much to honor those who sacrifice for our country. If I can help answer any questions about VA loans or any other home loan options, give me a call.