Easter Seals to continue spirit behind Bob Hope’s commitment to U.S. troops
with launch of employment services for vets in San Diego
Legendary entertainer Bob Hope was famous for his comedic one-liners, which he delivered on stage, radio, television and film over his long career.
Hope, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 100, left a legacy of humor and also humanitarianism. He traveled the globe entertaining U.S. armed forces for more than 50 years — delivering laughter and American culture to troops stationed far from home.
Today, the spirit behind Mr. Hope’s commitment is embodied in a gift The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation has generously awarded to Easter Seals Dixon Center, the organization’s national veterans outreach and advocacy effort. The three year $1.1 million grant will make possible The Bob Hope Veterans Support Program benefiting Southern California. This Easter Seals program will start in San Diego and provide support to help veterans – with or without disabilities – who are transitioning out of the service to achieve employment goals through:
• Personalized employment services
• Small business development and micro-grant funding
• Efforts to raise awareness among potential employers
“Easter Seals wants to honor Mr. Hope’s legacy and unique support of our troops by changing the lives of this generation’s military families especially upon their transition back to civilian life,” says Mark Whitley, Easter Seals Southern California president and CEO.
At an event to present the grant, Miranda Hope — one of Mr. Hope’s grandchildren — shared memories of accompanying her grandfather on one of his last trips to entertain troops.
“I saw the living proof of one of his core beliefs: it is one’s obligation to take one’s talents and gifts to the center of a crisis and begin to heal,” she said. “We have a crisis … veterans returning from war are not thriving. There are many reasons why and many ways in which they need support, but the fact remains – they need support and they deserve it.”
Easter Seals Southern California Military and Veterans Employment Services team are all veterans led by Director of Operations, John Funk. Funk is a retired Navy officer who served 28 years in the military working as a helicopter pilot and ship Captain. Former Army Sergeant and small business owner Bonnie Silver and retired Marine Corporal Mervin Roxas who was wounded in action in Iraq complete the team as employment specialists.
About Easter Seals
Through employment services, education, autism therapy, independent living and social skills support, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people can live, learn, work and play in their communities. Learn more at www.EasterSeals.com/SouthernCal