Friday, September 19, 2008

MN Patriot Guard Finances

Today, it is my pleasure to post some information on the finances of MN Patriot Guard. I am proud to report our year to date donations and we will in the future announce them every six months.

From 01 January 2008 through 18 September 2008 we have donated $64,541.02 in program services to Minnesota military members and their families, wounded and injured, families of Fallen Heroes, and our Veterans.

Where did the money go?

34th Division Chaplains’ Fund


Disabled Vets Rest Camp


Flags for MN Fallen Military


Gold Star Event


Military Heroes Foundation


Minnesotan’s Military Appreciation Fund


Project Backpack (children of MN military)


TTTT Scholarship Fund


HOTH Donations broken down by Sectors

Brainerd Sector





Helping a family of a currently serving soldier


Mankato Sector



Metro Sectors





WIA Tuition Assistance


St. Cloud Sector

Melrose House Clean-up


Thief River Falls Sector



Willmar Sector

KMS Memorial Ride


Worthington Sector

Chairlift for Luverne MVH


Veterans Home Events

St. Cloud Monte Carlo Nights


MPLS Veterans Home Bingo


Hastings Veterans Home Bingo


Hastings Veterans Home Bike Show


Luverne Veterans Home Bingo


Disabled Veterans Turkey Hunt


Fergus Falls Veterans Home Bingo


Silver Bay Veterans Home


Flags for Veterans Homes



Fergus Falls


Bus Ticket for Veteran




A few notes about this:

Our HOTH mission is not to duplicate the services of other organizations - it is to help with needs that fall through the cracks of conventional assistance. Some of the organizations shown that we have donated to have come to our attention through requests for assistance made to our board.

Rather than step into areas where the generous people of Minnesota are already working hard to support our military families and have a solid system in place to help, we as a board have chosen to support those requests in this manner.

A note about the donation to the Minnesotan's Military Appreciation Fund of nearly $20,000 (I'll try to make this as simple as possible): We collaborate with the generous folks at Dennis Kirk on the Patriot Ride event and bike raffle, and 50% of the net proceeds are designated directly for the MMAF. All raffle ticket deposits went into a special account set up by MN Patriot Guard, since we secured the gambling license for the raffle; other revenues were handled by Dennis Kirk.

Final net proceeds from the Patriot Ride and bike raffle were just over $73,000, half of which was designated for MMAF ($36,600). After a final accounting, the donation to MMAF came from both Dennis Kirk and MN Patriot Guard accounts. To sum it up: The efforts of PGR volunteers and the generosity and hard work from the people at Dennis Kirk was incredible!

In the past there was talk of scholarships for the children of Fallen Heroes from Minnesota. Tribute to the Troops, whose mission is slightly different but closely tied to our own, has taken on this challenge. We have chosen to support this effort through them this year with a $5,000 contribution, and have pledged $10,000 in 2009. Our youngest rider on the Patriot Ride this year - the 6-year-old son of a man we honored with a flag line - will someday benefit from those contributions.

Several of the amounts shown by sector are labeled WIA - wounded or injured members of our military. There are often other requests that are responded to by our HOTH team and/or the board on a case-by-case basis. We choose not to show most names out of respect to privacy for those who defend our nation, unless these activities have been in the news or we have the consent of those we have assisted.

The Veterans' Home events are much more than numbers on a spreadsheet. Due to privacy polices of the VA, we normally cannot show you the smiles on the faces of our Veterans - but those who are active in Bingo and other activities can tell you that they happen each and every time, without question. As our HOTH team is fond of saying, "Our real power does not lie in a checkbook - it lies in our hands and in our hearts."

This report would not have been possible without the generous donations we've received - from PGR members, friends and families; the Patriot Ride event; from corporations in Minnesota; proceeds from our store sales; and the hard work from our HOTH representatives working throughout the state. Thank you, thank you everyone for making a difference.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Follow up KIA SSG Brian Studer, 28, of Ramsey, MN

MN Patriot Guard members...

We thought it appropriate to let you know that a very small group of Ride Captains and Assistant Ride Captains attended a mission today honoring SSG Brian Studer at his interment at FSNC. The family was clear in its request for a discreet and very low key mission. They were very concerned about uninvited guests showing up with the RNC being held in St Paul. Many of you have seen the video clips of the violent protests that have taken place and with that in mind their fears were founded on fact. That media released details of the services was unfortunate but the family did not change their request for a small discreet showing from us.

It is important to remember we serve at the pleasure of the families of the fallen. Our organization was founded on the principles of shielding them from unwanted disturbances at events surrounding the fallen heroes services. All of our decisions are made with that in mind and we will always consider them first.

Not opening this up as a general mission in no way implies that all of our members aren't deeply appreciated for their hard work. It was a decision based on how to best fulfill the family wishes.

If you have any questions please send an email to

Thanks for the hard work you do!