Building the future
Corte Bella is an adult community located north of and adjacent to Sun City West. In March 2014, Larry Leighton, Corte Bella HOA Board Member and a retired US Army Colonel, issued a call to Corte Bella residents who are veterans to see if there was interest in forming a Veterans group with the intent “To foster patriotism and good will toward the military community within Corte Bella and support deserving military oriented charities.”
Corte Bella Vets was officially formed in April 2014 with an initial membership of 25 Veterans. With a total of 1650 homes, the current membership has grown to over 240 members from all components of the US Uniformed Services and also CB residents who served with US Allies…
…In May, we decided to support two military-oriented charities that could meet the following criteria: must be military oriented, must not have more than 10% “overhead”, must be supporting military in Arizona, must be an organization rather than an individual or individuals, and must be able to provide tax receipts and/or tax credits. The membership selected Veterans for Veterans in Arizona and Disabled American Veterans, Department of Arizona as the two charities we’d support in 2014-2015.
Through a series of articles in the community magazine, Corte Bella Vets was able to make numerous donations of household items and furniture to the Veterans for Veterans in Arizona to help formerly homeless veterans reestablish themselves. After the community restaurant was remodeled, we also convinced the Homeowners Association to donate the excess dining room furniture to them as well. Through voluntary monthly donations the membership was able to donate $1,500 in cash to help further the Veterans for Veterans in Arizona support of our less fortunate Arizona Veterans.
In June, as part of our efforts to foster patriotism in our community, we convinced the Board of Directors to purchase US Flags to be displayed around the Community on select National Holidays. There is a large circular drive through Corte Bella where 60 flags are displayed which bring a lot of pride for the residents in seeing the flags waving in the wind. The Corte Bella Vets volunteered to raise and lower the flags for President’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot Day, Veterans’ Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
In November, we hosted the Corte Bella Community’s first annual Veterans Day Dinner Dance. Luke Air Force Base provided an Honor Guard to post the Colors and Corte Bella Vets posted their respective Service Flags. The ceremonies included the POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony. Ms. Debbie Lee, founder or America’s Mighty Warriors, was our honored guest.
After lots of planning which started in October, we hosted the Corte Bella Vets Salute Disabled American Veterans Golf Tournament on January 24th of this year. We invited several DAV Amputees to play as our guests. American Legion Post #94 provided the Honor Guard. Corte Bella residents sang the National Anthem and God Bless America as part of the Opening Ceremonies. We had a full field of 128 players with lots of Corporate and individual sponsors and donations. Although it was our first attempt as such a large undertaking, with the help of volunteers from Corte Bella Vets and Corte Bella Golf Course staff, the event was a huge success and will be our annual fund raising event. This year we were able to donate $15,440 to Disabled American Veterans, Department of Arizona and $1,600 worth of donated merchandise that was not sold in the Silent Auction or unclaimed raffle prizes was donated to the American Legion to be included in their Rehabilitation Fund Raising Dinner.
As a new Veterans Group in the West Valley, we are proud of our accomplishments this past year and are excitedly looking forward to assisting military-oriented charities in Arizona and Corte Bella Veterans and residents in the future.
The Corte Bella Vets is a 501 (c) (3) public charity, Tax ID # 47-2784238. Our members are all Veterans and we have no operating expenses. One hundred percent of the net proceeds raised at our events goes to the designated charities.