On Saturday, Oregon's Advantis Credit Union will make good on a nearly three-year-old pledge to do its part in the Homes for Our Troops cause.
As it turns out, tomorrow is the day CU executives, volunteers and civic leaders salute double amputee Army Specialist PC Kevin Pannell of Sandy who with his family will receive the keys to a new, specially built home constructed with donations from CU members and the public.
Officials of the $720 million Portland CU said they are honored to help "usher in a new phase of their life" for Pannell and his wife, Danielle, as the community "celebrates this monumental occasion of erecting their dream home." Pannell lost both his legs in a blast in Baghdad in 2004.
Advantis will pick up the remaining tab on home construction after donations fell short on a $150,000 fundraising goal which covers a second home being built for a disabled vet near Hood River.
So far only $71,000 has been raised "and it is simply unfortunate that the bad economy has kept our totals down," said Wendy Edwards, vice president-marketing.
Advantis said its fundraising will continue into the new year to finance the second home nearly complete in Parkdale for Army Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, also a double amputee injured in an Iraq ambush.
In recent months the Advantis campaign, conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts-based Homes For Our Troops organization, has been singled out in media stories including a front page article in The Oregonian, the state's largest newspaper, for its good deeds in supporting the troops and the community.
"Special thanks go out to the hundreds of volunteers, supporters and donors who helped make this house possible," said Ron Barrick, president/CEO, adding, "our participation is the very least we can do to thank those who have been severely injured while serving our country."
Among the invitees scheduled for an appearance at tomorrow's key turnover ceremony are Portland area city leaders plusU.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. (D.Ore.)