The funds, in addition to $200 set aside by the committee to reimburse the pilot of the helicopters which participated in the fly over, were donated back to the memorial.
Jimmy Propst, one of the pilots from Black Rock, refused to be paid for his fuel, stating the American Veteran's Memorial was such a great cause, he would like to see the money donated to the memorial. Also, Brian Smidt, a local culinary student, baked bread and manned a booth during the festival and donated $115 he made to the memorial.
The $2,000 was from proceeds from the third annual Thunder on Thunderbird event, held July 4 in Cherokee Village. The committee chose the memorial as this year's beneficiary for the event. The funds will be used to help pay for the memorial, which is a living tribute to those who have served their country in all branches of the service.
Jack Lowe, president of the Thunder on Thunderbird committee and chairman of the Elk's National Foundation, Jessie Sparks, along with Charlotte Godwin, Vanessa Gatrell and Tammy Curtis, represented the committee and Highland Elk's Lodge Exalted Ruler Ron Jarett was also present for the ceremony. Goodwin is also on the board of the American Veteran's Memorial and Holden was instrumental in its establishment.
Thunder on Thunderbird was a huge success and the committee plans for the festival to continue growing in the coming years.
The festival and fireworks aim to draw larger crowds to the area during the summer travel month of July and boost the local economy.
Lowe and the members of the committee would like to thank the volunteers and public for their support of the festival and look forward to a bigger and better Thunder on Thunderbird in 2012.