This annual black-tie event benefitting Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and co-hosted by Emerald Sponsor Emerald Coast Hospice welcomed a sold-out crowd of 340 to the Henderson Beach Resort and Spa Thursday evening. Bobby Dove, a former Army Green Beret Medic with the 7th Special Forces Group in Crestview as part of Eglin Air Force Base was the featured speaker. While deployed to Afghanistan, Bobby suffered great injury to his dominant right hand and right leg after he came into contact with an IED on a motorcycle parole. His story was captured as part of a NAT GEO series Inside Combat Rescue. Bobby recovered and deployed again seven months after his initial injury. Since medically retiring in 2014, he now owns and operates Hooligan Charters, a fishing charter located at Emerald Coast Marine in Niceville.
Brieanne Raines, Hospice Specialist with Emerald Coast Hospice said, “When I learned of the opportunity to partner, I knew it was a good way to show our support in a very tangible way. Many of our families along the Emerald Coast have served, and the mission at Fisher House with comfort homes aligns with our core values to offer care and comfort. “
Platinum sponsors included Vertex Aircraft Integration and Sustainment, Okaloosa Gas District and Crane Aerospace, among many other gold, silver and bronze sponsors. A VIP reception took place pre-event with Laura Hussey, WEAR morning news anchor greeting sponsors on the red carpet. While the mission focuses on families, this fun, classy gala brings together passionate supporters each October to show their affection for our military families for both service and sacrifice. Ted Corcoran, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce serves as the Master of Ceremonies and this year, Steve Ferrell of HDR Engineering debuted his original song written as a special tribute.
Those in attendance included senior level military members of Team Eglin, Air Force Special Operations at Hurlburt Field and United States Army 7th Special Forces Group in Crestview, along with retired military members and their spouses who now call the Emerald Coast home and many high-profile community and civic leaders. The Blue Wahoos military mascots representing the Air Force and Army posed for photos during the reception.