Lexington, Kentucky - At the conclusion of the annual Kentucky Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast at the Thoroughbred Club of America (Keeneland), Mr. James E. (Ted) Bassett III, Chairman, Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky (MCCCK), was almost rendered speechless, but not quite, as he was presented with a $30,000 check payable to the Semper Fi Fund, representing donations from Kentucky Marines, as a tribute to his longstanding service and leadership within the statewide Marine Corps community and support of the Marine Corps nationally.
After quickly composing himself, Mr. Bassett surrendered the check to Ms. Kathy Huck, volunteer representative and liaison for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund within Kentucky, who accepted same with moist eyes and quivering voice, as she was emotionally moved by the generosity of our statewide Marine Corps community.
Ms. Huck spoke briefly of the foundation and mission of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, which has provided financial and emotional support to thousands of Marines and their families, as they recover from injuries and wounds sustained during the Global War on Terror, while thanking those present, as well as others who had participated in this tribute. Shortly after the Kentucky Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast, wonderfully supportive Friends of the Corps matched the $30,000 tribute to Mr. Bassett, and $60,000 was donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund on behalf of the great Marine Corps family in Kentucky.
This compassionate effort, concurrent with the celebration of the 238th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps, was precipitated by a generous donation by Mr. Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr., Founder and Owner, Bulleit Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, a veteran Navy corpsman, who served with and rendered medical assistance to wounded Marines in Vietnam. Along with his generous donation, Mr. Bulleit challenged Kentucky Marines statewide to match same.
Support for this effort was garnered from Marine Corps League detachments, individual Marine veterans, the MCCCK, and Friends of the Corps. Since the "Salute to the Legends of the Corps" held on May 23, 2008 for the benefit of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, the MCCCK has been either directly or indirectly responsible for the generation of over $370,000 in support of this truly grass roots effort to help injured and wounded Marines regain their lives through rehabilitation, counseling, and adaptive living, while maintaining and strengthening that all important bond with the Marine Corps, which is forged in boot camp and stays with us for the duration of our lives.
Thank you Kentucky Marines for caring for each other.