Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Annual Tournament Raises $36,000 for JBLM Charities

America’s Credit Union (ACU) presented funds raised from its 15th annual golf tournament to the Santa’s Castle, Madigan Foundation, and the Food Basket Program on JBLM.  The tournament was held on November 6th and the community once again came out to help ACU raise money to benefit local military families.

The history of the tour- nament has evolved throughout the years. It was originally created to help the founder of Santa’s Castle get her program off the ground. Then it was expanded to help make sure JBLM military members have food for the holidays by supporting the Food Basket Program. The final piece was to help pay for military families’ medical costs, not covered through insurance, by donating to the Madigan Foundation. Because of the generous donations from the sponsors and the success of the Turkey Shoot golf tournament, ACU was able to raise $36,000 to donate to all three charities. An estimated $500,000 has been donated in the 15 years the tournament has occurred.

This year ACU was honored to include a new presenting sponsor Nisqually Red Wind Casino, graciously choosing to donate $7,500, to this year’s tournament.  ACU thanks the following sponsors for their support of this tournament:

  • Award Sponsor: Northwest Motorsports
  • Big Turkey Sponsors: Cigar Daddies, Swarner Publications, Tactical Tailor, Sunset Chevrolet, Cascade Print Media, and Fast Signs
  • Little Turkey Sponsors: Little Caesars and ACU 
  • Financial. Hole in One and Hole sponsors:  Proforma Strategic Advantage LLC, The Madigan Foundation,  Omni Financial, Cook Security Group,  US Family Health Plan, Sound Credit Union, Boom, Verizon Wireless, Airstreams, Geico, CUNA Mutual Group, Cannon Construction, Evergreen Home Loans, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter, and USO NW.

This year all the military that played were sponsored by local area businesses. The salute to the troops’ sponsors were:

  • Immedia, 
  • Arrow Cleaning
  • Clear Channel Outdoor
  • The Defense CU Coalition
  • Albers & Company
  • Custom Impressions
  • Immedia
  • Allied Solutions
  • Cigar Daddies, and 
  • USO NW

Thanks to Walmart Lakewood Store for donating 20 turkeys, Starbucks for donating the coffee and breakfast, Costco for hand warmers, and Dimitri’s Gourmet Mixes for continuing to make the event one that helps our golfers brave the elements in the spirit of charity.

Kenneth S. Leonard, President/CEO of ACU, shared with everyone the modest beginnings of the tournament and the commitment he has to our military. Ken said, “it’s a passion to grow this event each year in support of our military and all they do on a daily basis.” Ken and all the sponsors are honored to contribute to the morale and welfare of our military and their families.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that the president has nominated Air Force Col. Tyler D. Otten has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.  Otten is currently serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander, 11th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Aerospace Programs at Bates Technical College

Aerospace Programs at Bates Technical College 

Classes start January 4!

Information Sessions*
Friday, November 20, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Friday, December 4, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Friday, December 18, 2015
9:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Bates Technical College
1101 S. Yakima Ave Tacoma, WA 98405
Main Building, 3rd Floor Room 316

*Be prepared to complete CASAS Assessment and bring your 2014 Tax documents to complete your Financial Aid Application.

For more information, please contact Joanne Lee or call 253.680.7203

Friday, November 13, 2015

SSG Leo Gruba Named 37th Anderson Military Citizen Awardee

(l to r) Serena Gruba, SSG Leo Gruba and Amber Young, ACU

The recipient of the John Anderson Award for Military Citizen of the Year is Staff Sergeant Leo Gruba.

SSG Gruba’s efforts are focused on different fronts. In 2014, he was selected by his command to participate in a PBS two-hour special, which allowed the audience to see the inside of the file of a military member.  He and his family allowed cameras and strangers into their personal lives to record the joys, tears and challenges that define military families everywhere.

SSG Gruba is a member of American Legion Post 53 in DuPont.  These last two years, he helped with their annual scholarship program for soldiers, valued at thousands of dollars.

As a member of the Association of the United States Army, SSG Gruba worked an estimated 60 hours for Operation Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade for donated gifts during the holidays to active, Guard and Reserve families.

SSG Gruba also devoted an estimated 100 hours for time and mentorship at Clhoe Clark Elementary PTA where he serves as Vice President. He is responsible for fundraisers and school events for students and families.

He volunteers time at the Fisher House, which provides a “home away from home” for families with patients at Madigan Army Medical Center.  Similarly, he is the liaison  between his command and the Family Readiness Group, geared toward strengthening the Army Family Concept.

As a member of the DuPont Historical Society, he volunteered about 60 hours to plan the movement of the Society’s property from JBLM to the museum.

And, he is the Wolf Den Leader of pack 472, Boy Scouts of American, volunteering abut 100 hours.

He belongs to the Patriots Athletic League, volunteering as machine pitch and tee ball coach; as a Lion’s Club member he has worked on several projects in DuPont, including their I-5 “Adopt a Highway” clean-up project.

This past summer, SSG Gruba worked with DuPont businesses to collect and distribute comfort items to firefighters and National Guardsmen assisting in the complex wildfires throughout Washington.

Currently, he is working with the American Legion to organize a “Veterans Walk” this December in DuPont.

SSG Gruba is an excellent selection for the John H. Anderson Military-Citizen of the Year Award.  The many hours he has donated to our community will be appreciated for years to come.

About the Award
The Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber's presentation of the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award to the outstanding military was begun to commemorate the civic contributions by our resident military personnel. 

About John H. Anderson
John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid-1950s. He was also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.  

About the Award Sponsor

America’s Credit Union has been serving the military here at Joint base Lewis McChord (JBLM) since 1954; ACU has been active in creating a community that is aware of soldiers needs and able to serve our military who give so much for all of us. The Award was presented by Amber Young, ACU.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced the assignment of Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel Jr., commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command; market manager, Puget Sound Enhanced Multi-Service Market; and chief, U.S. Army Dental Corps, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to commanding general, Regional Health Command, Central – Provisional; market manager, San Antonio Health System; and chief, U.S. Army Dental Corps, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day Rememberance

"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years ... and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace..." Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2003

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Facebook, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber To Host Free Workshop For Tacoma Veteran and Military Family-Owned Small Businesses

On Tuesday, November 10, Facebook will be in Tacoma, Wash., to teach local veteran and military family small business owners how to optimize their presence and engage customers on the world’s largest social network.

Facebook’s veteran and military family-focused Boost Your Business will be held in Tacoma in honor of Veterans Day, November 11. The event will be co-hosted by Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, with Congressman Derek Kilmer welcoming entrepreneurs.

“The skills our service members pick up in the military are often the very same skills that make for a successful entrepreneur or small business owner,” said Congressman Kilmer. “As more service members transition to the civilian workforce it’s important they get the support they need to be successful. This forum will give our local veterans a chance to learn how to sharpen their ideas and reach an even broader audience online to help their business grow, all while networking with other veteran entrepreneurs.”

The Boost Your Business seminar will include a presentation by a Facebook small business expert on the latest Facebook best practices and strategies for success. A question and answer session will follow, featuring a panel of local small business people that will share their Facebook tips, tricks and suggestions. The panelists are representing the following local small businesses: home décor store Westhouse Décor, family run winery Mill Lane Winery, clothing retailer Combat Flip Flops and non-profit running community wear blue: run to remember.

Before the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of local business development organizations and hear about community resources during the networking session.

How do Facebook and small businesses connect?

There are more than 45 million small businesses using Facebook to connect with customers.
Approximately 8 in 10 people in the US are connected to at least one small business on Facebook.

Members of the media who have any questions or would like to attend the event should RSVP to Samantha Spielman.

Tacoma, Wash. – Tuesday, November 10
Tacoma’s Landmark Catering & Convention Center (Plaza Grand Ballroom)
47 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
Check In/Networking: 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Presentation and Q&A: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
To register and for more information HERE.

WHAT: FREE seminar on how to use Facebook to grow your small business.

WHO:  Representatives from Facebook, Congressman Derek Kilmer and veteran- and military family-owned small businesses.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Survey Shows South Sound Residents, Businesses Like JBLM, Hate Traffic

Survey Shows South Sound Residents, Businesses Like JBLM, Hate Traffic
Full results to be presented on November 12 to the Public at SSMCP Annual Forum

In September 2015, the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) conducted a survey of Pierce and Thurston County residents and businesses regarding their knowledge of, attitudes about, and dependence on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

47% of responding residents stated they lived in a neighborhood with active duty service members and 82% stated that they were supportive of JBLM service members in the community.   40% reported that they were a veteran household.  48% percent saw JBLM as a positive economic engine for the region; 19% saw it making the South Sound safer. 

46% of residents saw JBLM as a significant cause of traffic congestion and 23% saw JBLM as causing significant negative noise.  27% of residents felt there were no negatives impacts of JBLM’s presence. 

46% of area businesses reported having veteran employees; 56% have a veteran hiring preference.  80% of responding businesses have JBLM related customers.  84% reported that JBLM is a good or excellent neighbor.   

61% of businesses reported that they felt JBLM had a significantly negative influence on area traffic congestion.

The survey results reflect a perception that JBLM causes traffic congestion.  However, I-5 has not been widened in the JBLM area since 1975, and is inadequate to meet today’s civilian demand.  Between 1970 and 2010, the population of Washington State almost doubled, Pierce County grew by 95 percent, and Thurston County grew by 228 percent. 

The full results of the SSMCP’s Business & Community Survey will be presented at its November 12 Annual Public Forum.  Register at

The mission of the SSMCP is to foster communication, understanding and mutual benefit by serving as the most effective point of coordination for resolution of those issues which transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the South Sound region.  The group is open to any group, agency, or organization interested in community/military issues in the Pierce and Thurston Counties areas.  Learn more at

Veterans' Honor Run

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Vets & Film in North Cascades

Please join us! You are invited to a free screening of short films and discussion with veterans and filmakers this Wednesday, November 4th at the McGavick Conference Center in Lakewood, starting at 7pm. (subject matter may at times be appropriate for mature audiences). Free Event.