Exciting VHP News Announced in our Winter Newsletter! 
Connecting Students with Veterans
December 21, 2016: Volume 6, Issue 2
Seasons Greetings!
One of the real joys this holiday season is the opportunity to say thank you and wish you joy of family, the gift of friends, and the best of everything in 2017!
Thank you for being a part of Veterans Heritage Project, and for making a significant difference in the lives and futures of our veterans and students!

Special Announcements 
VHP Alumna Student Sofia Ripa is sworn into the Marine Corps 

On Wednesday, September 28, I was finally sworn in and contracted with the United States Marines for the Officer track.  Having only been an American citizen for a few months, I couldn't be more excited and proud to be part of such a fine branch!  This is just the first step of many to become an Officer, but every day I'm a little closer.  The USMC Officer review boards start in November and end in April.  Hopefully I will be selected for the Officer Candidate Course by mid-November and ship off in late May.  I'm extremely grateful to have come this far and I wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of Mrs. Hatch (who helped me with the Officer application) and the VHP family. Semper fi!                                                                                               - Sofia Ripa, Former CSHS/VHP Student

Captain Johnson and Sofia Ripa at the Marine Corps Officer Selection Station in Tempe. It's close to campus (University and Mill) but it's not on campus nor related to ASU. 

Chapters Surpass Goal  of
250 Veteran Interviews!
We are so very proud of our Chapters!  
What a productive and rewarding fall semester with the completion of 263 veteran interviews!  WOW!   Because our goal of 250 veteran interviews was aggressive based on last year's 203 interviews, w e decided to incorporate a fun challenge to our chapters, thanks to grant support from ECF Boeing Arizona .  We are pleased to be able to award $250 in each of the four categories listed above.  Winning chapters will be able use their funding allocation on technology equipment to facilitate interviews or the publishing process, student recruitment materials, or even publishing support.  Many of our chapters made great strides in engaging students and connecting with veterans!  THANK YOU!

Congratulations to our Contest Winners:  

Existing Chapter with the Largest Percent Increase in Veteran Stories
 - by 700% - F lagstaff High School

Existing Chapter with the Largest Percent Increase in Student Enrollment
- by 133%  - Campo Verde High School

New Chapter with the Largest # of Veteran Interviews
AND the Largest # of Students Enrolled
North Valley Regional Library at Boulder Creek High School
Chapter News
Veterans Heritage Project Approved as a Course
for University High School in Tucson
The Tucson Unified School District unanimously approved a U.S. Military History course for University High in Tucson, AZ that will contain the Veterans Heritage Project as part of its project-based learning module. VHP Advisor Don Dickinson said, “This is a major step forward for Veterans Heritage Project as we now can have students get a social science credit for their work in interviewing veterans and publishing Since You Asked .”  The after-school program is already a Character Education program and is aligned with Arizona's College and Career-Ready Standards. By combining the VHP module with U.S. Military History, the high-school course now fulfills 42 Arizona K-12 Academic Standards in the areas of World History, American History, Literature, and Technology. Dickinson, who helped design the course, will teach it at University High School for the coming 2017 - 2018 academic school year.  Congratulations, Don!

Course Description:

U.S. Military History is an academic and project-based learning course that examines America's unique experience of warfare and the development of military institutions and military policy in the United States. It covers military thought and theory, U.S. military history from the Colonial Period to the present, and a unit on global terrorism.  A strong component of the course is VHP's project-based learning module that includes student interviews with American veterans, the video taped interviews sent to the Library of Congress, the publishing of their stories and formal public book signing reception, and a school assembly for interviewed veterans on Veterans Day. 

Student Spotlight: Rachel Couts from Sequoia Pathway Academy 
Rachel (pictured left) is a leader in Sequoia Pathway Academy's VHP Chapter, helping to organize fundraisers in addition to attending several interviews.   Rachel even volunteered to help another student complete an essay.  After the interview, Rachel stayed after and talked more in depth with the veteran about his service, overcoming misfortunes, and about life in general. 

Rachel is  a passionate and driven student, excited about pursing the performing arts and counseling.  She desires to impact peoples' lives by " using her experience and knowledge to help guide them towards acceptance ." 
- Amanda Williams, Sequoia Pathway Academy Advisor
First Year Chapter Excels!
From the moment we met Pamela Blair-Sheldon and Donna Boyce at our Chapter Kickoff in August, we knew the new North Valley Regional Library/Boulder Creek High School Chapter was going to be successful. Pam and Donna attended every training available, and then worked with two teachers on campus, Kathy Pondy and Matthew Campbell, and VHP Board Director Susan Kee, to develop a dynamite chapter leadership team and recruit an inspiring group of almost 20 students. They scheduled regular meetings, identified and utilized library technology resources for interviewing, set up a schedule of interviews for the students, participated in two different parades for Veterans Day, and finished 17 stories by the publishing deadline. Congratulations on an outstanding first year!  Pictured right, the chapter participates in interview training with Susan Kee.
Supporting Chapters Technology Needs
Abram Chaput (pictured left) is a sophomore at Santa Cruz Valley Union High School in Eloy, and a member of one of our newest VHP chapters. Thanks to grant funds from SRP, we were able to provide the Santa Cruz chapter with video equipment to help get them started and support their ongoing success.  The VHP Chapter is led by Teacher Advisor Kamian Harmon and Chapter Advocate Sonnette Chaput. 
Upcoming Events
Scholarship Applications
Open January 9 - 31, 2017

Chapters, we have streamlined our scholarship process.  Please check your email inbox in early January for updated scholarship guidelines regarding the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society scholarship program for VHP students, and VHP's Personal Scholarships, Above & Beyond Scholarship, and the Caitlin Campbell Travel Scholarship. This year all scholarship opportunities will open January 9, 2017. The deadline for all applications is  January 31, 2017 .  Thank you for sharing with your students!

Arizona Humanities Awards
February 24, 2017

Help us celebrate VHP Founder Barbara Hatch as she receives Arizona Humanities’ 2017 Julia Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award.  The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at New City Phoenix Church, located at 1300 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004.  Tickets are $40 and will be available soon at www.azhumanities.org. 

2017 Book Signing Receptions
  • Phoenix I Edition
    April 9, 2017 - 3-6 pm
    ASU West      
    4701 W Thunderbird Road Glendale, AZ 85301 
  • Northern Arizona Edition       
    April 22, 2017 - 10:00 a.m.
    Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott AZ 
  • East Valley Edition                  
    April 22, 2017 - Time TBD
    Mercy Gilbert Conference Center, Gilbert AZ
  • Tucson Edition                        
    April 29, 2017 - 1-3 p.m.
    Location TBD

  • Phoenix II Edition
    May 14, 2017 - 2-4 p.m.
    Elks Lodge
    14424 N 32nd St.,
    Phoenix, AZ  85032
  • Maricopa Community College Edition
    May - Date, time and location TBD
Calendar.3D illustration of a calendar on a white floor background with Calendar icon.
V HP Ambassadors Hosted Successful Honor, Protect, Serve Event at Desert Mountain, a beautiful community located in the  rolling hills of north Scottsdale.
A very special THANK YOU to VHP Ambassadors Jerry Strickland, Derek Hill, Marty Pluth, and Pierre Benoit  for hosting our first HONOR, PROTECT, SERVE event --an evening for their friends and neighbors to learn more about VHP and discover how together we can:
Honor veterans
Protect America's heritage, and
Serve our community
through the mission of
Connecting Students with Veterans

Attendees heard directly from veterans, a student, and a teacher on the importance and impact of our mission and received a gift copy of Since You Asked .  The event has raised $30,000, and as end-of-year contributions continue to reach our mailbox, we are hopeful for a $40,000 grand total! 
We are grateful that individuals were able to double their contribution through a matching gift from their former employers, such as State Farm and Prudential. See if your employer is on this  Employer Matching List.

If you are interested in hosting an Honor, Protect, Serve event in your community, please contact us at 1-877-VHP-PROJ (847-7765) x 3.
VHP In the Community
Veterans Day Activities
Veterans Heritage Project volunteers and chapters participated in more than 10 events all over the State for Veterans Day.  Below are highlights of some of our events.  Events not pictured include: a veteran presentation at the Winfield Residential Community, the Boeing Veterans Day Luncheon, and the Coyotes Military Appreciation Night.  
Salt River Project (SRP)'s SRPVets group hosts a Veterans Day Luncheon every year, and each year we are invited to host a table and share the mission of VHP with SRP employees.  Thank you, SRP!
North Valley Regional Library/Boulder Creek High School Chapter students with Chapter Advocates Pamela Blair-Sheldon and Donna Boyce marched in the Daisy Mountain Veterans Day Parade on November 5. 
The Second Annual University High Veterans Assembly was held Tuesday, November 15, in the school auditorium. The award-winning Rincon/University High Choraliers and Concert Choir sang the National Anthem and Battle Hymn of the Republic, and seven veterans were honored by members of the UHS Veterans Heritage Project chapter.  Among them were WWII Navy WAVES Veteran Anamarie Yost LePere, Korean War Marine Corps Veteran Eddie Rios, who served at the Chosin Reservoir, and Vietnam War Marine Corps Veteran Armand Fritz, a blind Hopi Native American. 
Private First Class Daniel Hunt MIA Brought Home
On Friday, December 2nd, a fallen hero of the Korean War who had been Missing in Action (MIA) for over 65 years, finally came home to be buried.

PFC Daniel Hunt was killed in September 1951 while fighting on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War.  Daniel was wounded twice during fierce fighting, but he kept returning to the front lines to resume fighting.  On September 28, 1951, he was wounded for the third time and killed.  His remains were never recovered and he was considered missing in action for 65 years.  What is also remarkable is that Daniel's two other brothers also served in the Korean War. Although his family was originally from Michigan, their oldest living next of kin is living in Arizona and chose to have him buried at the National Cemetery of Arizona. 

Susan Kee, VHP Board Director and volunteer, learned of this news and coordinated with the family, the South Korean Consulate office, and local veterans groups to ensure that he was welcomed home with utmost honor and respect. Three Purple Hearts and the military funeral flag were presented to the family by the U.S. Army.  South Korea's Consul General Lee presented the Ambassador for Peace Medal and a special medallion to the family in recognition of Daniel Hunt's courageous service and sacrifice.

May he rest in peace. 
Pearl Harbor
Remembrance Day 
The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was recognized during ceremonies at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza on December 7, 2016, and Veterans Heritage Project had a strong presence. More than 50 Chino Valley High School students, some of whom are in the VHP program, made the trip from the Prescott area in order to celebrate this historical day. The Cactus Shadows High School Chapter also came out in their VHP attire. The VHP group presented a wreath at the ceremony, carried by Aryanna Jordan from Chino Valley High School and Mikaela Morris from Cactus Shadows High School. 
VHP wreath presenters Mikaela and Aryanna pass near the Pearl Harbor survivor at the event.
Chino Valley High School students made the trip to attend the ceremony with VHP Advisor Scott Sloat.
Cactus Shadows VHP students sport their Rosie the Riveter shirts with real Rosies! They are, left to right, Mikaela Morris, Rena Jakway, Abby Mock, Melissa Satran, Jordan Anderson, Austin Hagan, and Harrison Kessel.
Volunteer Spotlight
Joe Dellamarggio is a veteran and recently retired as the counselor at Shea Middle School, where he was interviewed several times by students for their annual Pillars of Freedom project. This spring he attended the Phoenix II Edition Book Reception hosted by students in the Shadow Mountain High School VHP Chapter, and expressed his interest in getting more involved in the VHP program. Joe became a Chapter Advocate this fall, and has taken incredible initiative in supporting our Shadow Mountain High School and Shea Middle School VHP Chapters. He has helped them with technology, worked with school administrative offices, and supported tax credit fundraising, which can be some of the hardest tasks for Chapters. He is present and available to the teachers, and is passionate and focused on doing what it takes to help them succeed. Joe has been a wonderful addition to our volunteer team, and we are grateful to have him! 

If you are interested in volunteering to support our chapters as Joe does, please email brittany@veteransheritage.org. 
Community Support
The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation supports Capability Initiative with a $100,000 grant.
In June 2012, our young non-profit of just five chapters wrote a letter to an Arizona foundation about Education... how it holds civilization together.  We spoke about how the future of civics education stood at a crossroad with Congress, who at the time was slashing its federal funding of civics when two-thirds of Americans were unable to name all three branches of government. We asked, what will happen to our civilization?  The preservation of our Nation?

"Clearly, steps must be taken to inspire America’s youth to understand the importance of our history and to learn from it.  Veterans Heritage Project does that and more.  The Veterans Heritage Project in Arizona connects military veterans and youth to forge a bond that instills a love of democracy and America."

That December, The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation awarded VHP a $25,000 grant. The following year, they did it again!  Since 2012, with the financial support of The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, and others inspired by them, VHP has more than tripled the connection between students and veterans. 

Today we are thrilled to announce The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation has again invested in the future of VHP’s mission with a $100,000 grant in support of our strategic goals.  This funding puts VHP on a path toward building the organizational infrastructure needed to move VHP along the non-profit lifecycle, from a grassroots agency into a growing non-profit organization that can meet the demand for our program, both in Arizona and across the Country!

We have only just begun, and with the support of our community, by 2020 we will have served 3,000 veterans and students through 40 Arizona chapters, and be positioned to serve targeted states beyond Arizona in 2021. 

Over the next few years, VHP will work to triple contributions, annually raising more than $600,000 to help ensure the sustainability of our mission through investments in technology platforms and organizational systems, enhanced chapter supports and trainings, fund development strategies, marketing communication methods, program facilities, and professional staffing. 

On behalf of our love of democracy and love of America... our youth, veterans, and our families - Thank you! 
The Arizona Coyotes Foundation has a rich history of supporting service men and women, and programs that build future leaders.  We are so thankful that they have chosen to be a partner with VHP through a $20,000 grant. This support helps to create lasting memories of appreciation for our veterans and lifelong lessons for our students.  
Thank you!
VHP recently developed several Corporate Sponsorship Opportunity packages for organizations that wish to support the connection between veterans and students.  We are proud to announce ACSS as our first $10,000 “Legion of Merit” sponsor.  

“ACSS is proud to be a sponsor of Veterans Heritage Project and to support the important mission of preserving the stories of veterans’ service by the students across Arizona who collaborate with them. Through the Project, we believe an important historical legacy is preserved, and beyond that see the dialogue between the veterans and students as a rich and valuable exchange that spans the generations,” said Terry Flaishans, President of ACSS.
Flaishans went on to say that Arizona students, through interviewing and collaborating with the veterans as part of the Project, gain new understanding and learn critical skills that will serve them in the future.   VHP couldn’t agree more!  Thank you for your investment in our next generation of leaders!

This holiday season and all year round, when you purchase from Amazon smile.amazon.com, and designate VHP as your charity of choice, Amazon donates to Veterans Heritage Project.  

Donating Directly From Your IRA May Help You Save on Taxes

As reported in The Wall Street Journal by Mr. Tom Herman, a writer in New York City and former WSJ Tax Report columnist, Congress agreed late last year to make permanent a provision designed to encourage taxpayers to donate money to charity directly from their IRAs.

Investors age 70½ or older can transfer as much as $100,000 a year directly from an IRA to qualified charities without having to count any of that money as income. To note, Donor Advised Funds do not qualify.  If done correctly, the transfer counts toward the taxpayer’s required minimum distribution for that year.  Even though it does not count as a tax-deductible charitable donation, it can be a smart move.

Many taxpayers do not need the income from their RMDs and this provision allows them to direct their RMD to a qualified charity,” says Mr. DeFilippis. The exclusion can “favorably impact many things such as the taxability of their Social Security benefits and deductibility of medical expenses.”

 In M emory of...  
Veterans Heritage Project honors the beloved veterans we have lost in 2016.  Your stories live on in our memories, our books, and our hearts.
Veterans Heritage Project |  1-877-VHP-PROJ (847-7765) | www.veteransheritage.org