The Fallen Heroes Project
NWPVA was honored by a presentation from an amazing man at a recent Board of Directors meeting. Michael G. Reagan is a wonderful portrait artist who has been donating his work, completely free of charge, to the families of American soldiers killed in action. He presents them with a beautiful, heartfelt, framed portrait of their lost son or daughter. He has donated more than 4,700 portraits during the last 13 years for his Fallen Heroes Project foundation.
Michael’s foundation operates without any corporate financial support. It depends solely on donations from individuals, private sponsors and mostly nonprofit organizations. While the work is done for free, the costs of canvases, frames, mailing, computer and office expenses, etc. are incurred. It is vitally important that the public hears about this project, understands its significant magnitude and helps with donations.
NWPVA presented Michael with a donation at that board meeting, and we hope that our sister organizations and supporters will consider donating as well. The idea for a Veterans Day fundraising event came from the Biella Foundation. They made 2 donations to the Fallen Heroes Project, the second of which was earmarked for a fundraising event. That donation, together with the NWPVA donation, covered the costs of the evening, held at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in Edmonds, Washington.
About 100 people attended and the evening began with an hour of wine and food and a small silent auction, followed by more food and beverages. Michael then gave a presentation about his work and how it has been doing, how it started, videos of presentations of fallen hero portraits, and a video of a Memorial Day speech he gave in San Antonio this past May for USAA Insurance. He presented two fallen hero portraits to families of veterans who have been have lost, then asked for donations and took questions. According to Michael, “It was a great evening and everyone who worked on it deserves a lot of thanks for a job well done”.
The Fallen Heroes Project foundation was able to realize a profit, and even more importantly, the wonderful work Michael is doing was shown to new potential donors. Steve Swanson, Michael’s partner, sent NWPVA the following summary:
By all measurements, the event was a resounding success. Afterwards, we had many people give us positive feedback…as to the quality of the event, the venue and the presentation.
- We were striving for a total of 96 guests, and ended up having nearly 100.
- The evening’s agenda and activities seemed to flow very nicely.
- During the reception/auction, the guests seemed comfortable and upbeat, which was helped by the fantastic guitar playing of Paul Johnson.
- The food and wine were both of high quality and enjoyed by all. We were able to have all of the seafood and most of the wine donated, which helped with the bottom line.
- Michael’s presentation was amazing, and seemed to deeply touch all who witnessed it.
- We are certain to obtain ongoing support from our newly acquired sponsors. One contact that I made in Gig Harbor has indicated he would like to host a similar event at his hotel/marina, perhaps for Memorial Day.
- We hope to repeat this event next year, perhaps on a larger scale.
NWPVA strongly supports the Fallen Heroes Project and we wish Michael, Steve and the all of the outstanding volunteers the greatest continued success!