Our 2017 Dinner & Auction Event
Thank You so much for making our 7th Annual Dinner & Auction Event a Success!
$225 per person
Naples Sailing & Yacht Club
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Tables accommodate 8-10 people
Corporate Table Sponsorships
NAPLES SAILING & YACHT CLUB
Naples Sailing & Yacht Club combines the best of both worlds. It’s a true boater’s yacht club in addition to it being home of one of the finest dining facilities in Naples. NSYC has a rich heritage. The club was launched in 1964 by an enthusiastic group of boaters led by Commodore Jack Messmer. It has since become one of Florida’s premier yacht clubs.
5:30 – 10:30pm
H’ordeuvres, Dinner Reception, Live Auction,
Raffle & Music to follow
$5,000 Table Sponsorships Available
• Prime Seating for Dinner – 10 pp Table
• Company Name/Logo on Table Banner
• Informational Display Table Available
• Name on All Electronic & Printed Materials
MAP OF LOCATION
Naples Sailing & Yacht Club
896 River Point Drive
Naples, FL 34102
Mark Lalli, National Campaign Team
There is a gleam in his eye every time Mark Lalli thinks of both of his grandfathers. “They served in World War II,” Mark says. “It was my dream to follow in their footsteps. I always wanted to be G.I. Joe.” There is a legacy of military service in Mark’s family that goes all the way back to the American Revolution. His turn came in November 2002 when he joined the Army a week after his 17th birthday.
“September 11 motivated me to do whatever I could to serve and protect my country,” says Mark. As a UH-60 crew chief in Iraq, he made sure the aircraft was good to go. He also flew missions as a door gunner. It was on someone else’s aircraft that Mark experienced a life- changing tragedy.
“I was on a joint training exercise with the U.S. Air Force on November 8, 2007. Our aircraft had an unrecoverable malfunction. The aircraft spun for several hundred feet before crashing to the ground. We had 11 souls on board, but only five survived. I was one of the lucky ones. I suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as over two-dozen broken bones. I still have short-term memory loss and some paralysis.”
“When we started to spin, my first thoughts were to do everything I could to help everyone in the back of the aircraft. I was trying to calm them when I was knocked unconscious. I woke up from a coma a month and a half later,” says Mark.
His next moment of consciousness came at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was there for about two weeks and then transferred to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida – where he stayed for 19 months. “Rehab was painful,” says Mark. “And there were times I wanted to quit. But I believed I owed it to those six warriors who died in the crash to keep trying. I was given a chance to live, and I live in their honor.” It was in Tampa that Mark met an outreach coordinator from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
“I met another warrior through WWP who was dealt a bad hand; he was an amputee. But he showed me that it’s not the end. He inspired me to believe that anything is still possible. There is life, even when you’re confined to a wheelchair. WWP helped me with VA claims, taking me on hunting trips and, quite frankly, just helped me clear my head,” says Mark.
It’s the support Mark receives from the men and women of WWP that makes him feel like he’s with his squad again. “The camaraderie helps you share experiences — bounce things off each other; what has helped you, and what has helped them.” Now Mark is passionate about shaking off the stereotypes branded on wounded warriors.
“Warriors are active members of society,” he says. “Take each day as it comes. Find out what works for you and go with it, and simply stay away from what doesn’t work. Every day is an Alive Day. Keep your minds on those we have lost, and let their memory be your motivation.”