Heroes In Transition (HIT) has tapped former State Representative and Marine veteran Timothy Whelan of Brewster, to serve as the keynote speaker for its 14th Annual Fall Gala on Friday, September 22, 6-10 PM, at The Coonamessett in Falmouth.
“I can’t think of anyone better to speak at our Fall Gala than Tim Whelan. As a Marine, he understands the challenges that service members, veterans, and military families endure and the need for the programs that HIT offers,” said HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “Tim has been a longtime champion of Heroes In Transition, and we’re honored to have him join us for what will be a special night celebrating our work and raising critical funds which make that work possible.”
Tickets for the Gala, which are $130 per person and $1,040 for a table of 8, can be purchased by clicking the button below.
The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, September 8.
Anyone who is unable to attend, can still support the event with a donation by visiting www.HITFallGala.org (click here). Funds raised from the Gala will go to support 13 HIT programs which serve nearly 1,500 individuals in the region on an annual basis. HIT’s programs assist service members, veterans, military couples, military spouses, and military spouses.
Whelan’s connection to HIT dates back to October 2009 when he was a State Police Sergeant, responsible for overseeing the police detail for Marine Captain Eric A. Jones’s funeral following his death in a helicopter crash while flying a combat mission in Afghanistan.
Jones’s parents, Cyndy and the late Kenneth Jones, formed HIT as a way to honor their only son’s life, service, and ultimate sacrifice. “I’ve had a connection with the Jones family and Heroes In Transition ever since then. I’m glad to be a part of the work they do, and I want to continue to be of assistance to them for as long as I am able,” he said. “Heroes In Transition is truly a leader among all the veterans’ services we have in the region. Without them, the gap between what our veterans’ needs are and what the veterans get would be that much wider.”
Whelan, who served five years in the Marine Corps Reserves, has a keen knowledge of the difficulties that service members, veterans, and their loved ones face in service to our country. His 21-year career with the Massachusetts State Police only served to reinforce that understanding.
He recalled one incident when a veteran, his partner, and their child were homeless, walking into the Massachusetts State Police barracks in Yarmouth, asking for help. “As long as we have young veterans’ families showing up at a police barracks and telling a total stranger, ‘I need help,’ we as a state and a nation are not doing enough for our veterans,” Whelan said. “That’s why we have to rely on these beautiful nonprofits like HIT to fill in the gaps in services that our governments won’t provide.”
After retiring from the state police, Whelan was elected as State Representative for the 1st Barnstable District in 2014, serving four terms and sitting on the Ways and Means; Public Service; and Elder Affairs committees.
He and his wife of 33 years, Dr. Lisa Whelan, moved to Cape Cod 16 years ago. The couple have two daughters, Maggie, who lives in Chicago, and Katie, who lives in Quincy. Whelan currently serves as a Quality and Safety Department of Transportation Specialist with RoadSafe Traffic Systems.
Tickets to the Gala include hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, cash bar, an online/silent auction, a live auction, and an opportunity to strengthen HIT’s mission through a Fund-A-Need. There is also a raffle to win a trip for two to Nashville, Tennessee, which includes airfare, a 3-night stay at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, and a guided tour of the city, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famed Ryman Auditorium.
Anyone who wants to participate in the raffle, or the silent auction needs to register online by clicking the button below.
Individuals don’t have to attend the Fall Gala to participate in the online/silent auction or raffle.
Planning for the Fall Gala began in the spring with HIT Board Members Sarah Daley of Mashpee, and Kristen Boyd of Mashpee, as well as HIT supporter Maria Raber of Mashpee, serving as co-chairs of the event.
“This night is an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the deeply impactful work HIT is doing to assist individuals and families who sacrifice so much for our country and our freedoms,” said Raber. “The Gala allows attendees to see firsthand the difference this work is doing in our community.”
Sponsors for this year’s Gala are Asset Management Resources; the Law Offices of Boyd & Boyd, P.C.; Cape Cod Retractable, Inc.; The Goosey Fund; Cape Cod 5; Catalyst Architecture and Interiors; Rockland Trust; Devadigm; Dellbrook|JKS; and The Valle Group.