Next month I will be one of several cartoonists who will visit Boise, Idaho in support of the Wyakin Warriors Foundation, an organization that helps severely injured veterans for life after their service to our country through education, professional training, job placement and more. Started by NCS member Jeff Bacon, who has been the driving force behind the USO trips many cartoonists have participated in over the last 5 years, the WW Foundation is a fantastic initiative and deserving of everyone’s support. There will be an online silent auction for all the cartoons and other stuff dontated by the cartoonists… I will give you more information on that as it becomes available. Here is the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2012
Jeff Bacon (208) 841-6318
Nation’s Top Cartoonists to Visit Boise December 1st to Benefit Wounded Warriors
Award winning cartoonists will headline the first annual Guardian Ball at the Boise Centre, benefitting severely wounded, injured and ill veterans in the Wyakin Warrior Foundation.
A black tie gala will be held on December 1, 2012 to benefit severely wounded and injured veterans attending classes at Boise State University and College of Western Idaho as members of the Wyakin Warrior Foundation. The event will feature remarks by Governor Otter, introduction of the wounded and injured veterans in the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, full dinner, live music and a live auction. Cartoonists will provide original art, name placement in nationally syndicated cartoons, caricatures, and a multimedia presentation. Tables with the Wyakin Warriors and cartoonists are available. Tickets are on sale now (www.wyakin.org).
- Governor Butch Otter
- Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine)
- Jeff Keane (The Family Circus)
- Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm)
- Michael Ramirez (Investors Business Daily – Ed. Cartoonist)
- Ray Alma of MAD Magazine
- Chad Carpenter (Tundra)
- Rick Kirkman (Baby Blues)
- Ed Steckley (MAD Magazine)
- Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine)
- Bruce Higdon (Army cartoonist/caricaturist, Punderstatements)
- T Lewis (Over the Hedge)
- Steve Moore (In the Bleachers)
- Todd Clark (Lola)
- Mason Mastroianni (B.C.)
- Dave Coverly (Speed Bump)
Master of Ceremonies: Kevin Miller (KIDO)
Auction/raffle host: Nate Shelman (KBOI)
WHEN: December 1, 2012 (6-10pm)
WHERE: Boise Centre
WHY: Since World War II, cartoonists from the National Cartoonists Society have traveled all over the world to visit wounded troops being treated at military and VA hospitals. These trips inspired the creation of the Idaho-based Wyakin Warrior Foundation, arguably the most comprehensive education, mentoring and professional development program in the nation for severely wounded and injured veterans.
Among the cartoonists headlining the event are two Pulitzer Prize winners (Mike Peters and Michael Ramirez). The others draw some of the most beloved cartoons in the world. Attendees will be able to meet the cartoonists and bid on their art – many of the cartoonist will write the name of the winning bidder into their strips and give them the original art.
All proceeds will be used for the mentoring, professional development and educational support of severely wounded and injured veterans attending Boise State University and College of Western Idaho as members of the Wyakin Warrior Foundation.
About the Wyakin Warrior Foundation
The Wyakin Warrior Foundation provides one of the most comprehensive education, mentoring, professional development, networking and job placement programs in the country for severely wounded and injured veterans.
Our students are veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries while serving their country. Our goal is to prepare them for success in their chosen professions through academic support, professional training, and a mentoring program so robust that it was mentioned as a successful model by the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.* The USO has named the organization “best in class” in the nation for the education, professional development and assimilation of severely wounded veterans.
The need is great. To date, well over 40,000 troops have been seriously hurt in the combat zone since September 11, 2001. Some are forced to leave the service right away because of their injuries, but eventually they all come home. When they do, they face unemployment rates surpassing 30% (and getting worse) for veterans 18-24 years old. Severely disabled veterans often drop out of the workforce completely – at three times the rate of any other veteran group. If they choose to attend college, well over half of them will drop out during the first year of school.
Eleven veterans are in the program now, and the number of students will more than double in 2013.
The Foundation is a volunteer and veteran led organization, and relies on a large number of volunteers for its operations. It is based in the Treasure Valley. The Executive Director is Jeff Bacon, CAPT, USN (ret).