Folds Grand Rapids – November 2019
Folds of Honor is a nonprofit that grants scholarships to the family members of fallen and disabled service members. The national organization was founded in 2007 and has its origins in Grand Rapids, where Air Force Major Dan Rooney witnessed the casket of Corporal Brock Bucklin being escorted off of a commercial airplane. Nearby, the fallen corporal’s young son stood watching, and in that moment, Major Rooney made it his mission to support the families of America’s fallen military personnel.
“Despite this moment of inspiration taking place in Grand Rapids, we did not have a local chapter of Folds of Honor until nearly 10 years later,” says Brad Laackman, co-founder of Folds Grand Rapids and owner of Honor Construction. “I and two other West Michiganders were inspired by the national mission and made it our own goal to create local chapter of this worthy organization.”
In 2016, Laackman – a veteran himself – along with Brian Heerdt and Jay Ofield, founded Folds Grand Rapids and organized its primary fundraiser – the annual Patriot Day Golf Outing. The event takes place each August and has grown annually in size and participation. Just last year, the organization was able to provide nearly $20,000 in scholarships. Today, the Grand Rapids chapter is working toward a $50,000 fundraising goal in order to create an endowment fund for local students.
For more information on Folds of Honor Grand Rapids, visit www.foldsgr.org.