National Guard April 2013 : Page 84

EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION NEWS High-Speed The NGEF recognizes another large group of donors, including a big name in NASCAR R ICK HENDRICK, the owner of f Hendrick Motorsports, said his company’s contribution to the National Guard Edu-cational Foundation was “a a small token of f our appreciation for r all the Guard has done.” Retired Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum said he and his wife, Susie, had a dif-ferent t reason for r digging g into their r own pockets to donate to the NGEF. “People who discover r our r story y are always impressed,” said d the former chief f of f the National l Guard d Bureau. “But t too many y don’t t know w the Guard SANDY SCHA AEFFER (2) TOP ROW: Cary Kinney Senior Sales Manager (West) T-Mobile Government Solutions Col. Michael Tompkins (Ret.) Senior Installation Status Report Analyst Systems Plus Inc. Col. Raymond Jardine Jr. (Ret.) Hawaii Army National Guard Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum (Ret.) Former National Guard Chief Rick Hendrick Owner Hendrick Motorsports BOTTOM ROW: 84 Commander Everett Alvarez Jr. (Ret.) Member, Board of Governors Grantham University WWW . NGAUS . ORG Torrey Hubred V.P., Reserve Component Services Onsite Health Susie Blum Wife of Retired Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum | NATIONAL L GUARD April 2013

Educational Foundation News

High-Speed Donors

The NGEF recognizes another large group of donors, including a big name in NASCAR

RICK HENDRICK, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said his company’s contribution to the National Guard Educational Foundation was “a small token of our appreciation for all the Guard has done.”

Retired Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum said he and his wife, Susie, had a different reason for digging into their own pockets to donate to the NGEF.

“People who discover our story are always impressed,” said the former chief of the National Guard Bureau. “But too many don’t know the Guard story. They don’t even know an portion of what our magnificent organization has meant to our nation.The NGEF will put our money to good use, telling people this important story.”

Hendrick and Blum were among eight new inductees into the NGEF’s Legion de Lafayette (LdL), which is reserved for contributions of $10,000 or more, acknowledged during a special reception March 16 at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Foundation officials also used the evening to recognize seven existing LdL members who made additional large contributions to the NGEF, which operates the National Guard Memorial Museum and other programs designed to preserve and tell 376 years of the Guard story.

The 15 honorees donated a combined total of $190,000.

In addition to Hendrick Motorsports and Blum, the new inductees include an equal mix of corporations and individuals.

The new corporate members are General Electric Aviation, Polaris Defense and T-Mobile Government Solutions.

Retired Col. Raymond Jardine Jr., a former member of the NGAUS board of directors, retired Command Sgt. Maj. R.A. Oram, the first Army Guard enlisted soldier to join the LdL, and retired Lt. Col. Ronald G. Washburn are new individual members.

Existing LdL members recognized for additional contributions are BAE Systems, CALIBRE, EADS North America, Grantham University, the Hawaii National Guard Association, Onsite Health and Systems Plus Inc.

All of the honorees donated $10,000 except Hendrick Motorsports, which was inducted for contributing $50,000 in 2011 for the museum’s new 9/11 Era Gallery. Hendrick is the gallery’s single largest donor.

The busy racing schedule and other commitments had prevented Rick Hendrick, the owner of the company in Charlotte, N.C., from attending previous LdL ceremonies. Hendrick fields four NASCAR teams, including the No. 88 Guard car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

But his delayed participation did enable him to tour the 9/11 Era Gallery, which opened in November.

Rick Hendrick invoked Sept. 11, 2001, in brief remarks to those at the reception. Also the owner of several car dealerships nationwide, he said he was in Detroit meeting with officials from General Motors when New York and Washington were attacked.

“I had to borrow a car to get back to North Carolina,” he said. “I kept thinking our country will never be the same.”

Since then he and his drivers have spent time visiting troops at Walter Reed Medical Center and sharing with the U.S. military what NASCAR is learning about head injuries and protection.

Hendrick’s comments followed remarks by Blum, who said his contribution was nothing more than giving back.

“It is a fundamental responsibility for all who call themselves leaders in the National Guard to do whatever they can to ensure that every citizen, elected official and member of the Guard understand the essential role the Guard performs for our states and nation,” he said.

Blum is the second former NGB chief to become an LdL member. Retired Gen. Craig R. McKinley is also a member, along with his wife, Cheryl.

The legion is named after Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who served in both the American and French revolutions and who played a major role in giving the organized state militia in this country its enduring name.

Lafayette commanded the Guard Nationale de Paris in France. During a visit to New York in 1824, the New York militia unit that provided Lafayette’s honor guard adopted the name National Guard out of respect to his unit in France.

The name became the official title of the force in 1903.

Those inducted into the NGEF’s legion receive a medallion cast from the original special regimental presentation medal commissioned by the Seventh Regiment for Lafayette in 1832.

—Staff report

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