Maj. Dan Rooney, USAF (ret.), a former F-16 pilot and Professional Golf Association player who founded The Folds of Honor Foundation, pointed out the irony of charitable giving.
“When you reach out to help someone in need, you are actually the one being helped,” he said during his keynote address at the seventh annual Community Leadership Awards dinner Sept. 19. About 450 guests from 100 financial services firms attended the event in New York.
Mr. Rooney created the foundation in 2007 to provide scholarships and other aid to the families of soldiers killed or disabled while in military service. He was inspired to act after watching the family of a fallen soldier embrace their loved one's American-flag-draped coffin as it rolled off the airplane Mr. Rooney took home one late, rainy night.
All the freedoms Americans enjoy, including being able to dedicate the time and money to create and support charitable causes, “are only possible because of the sacrifices of American soldiers and their families,” he said.
Mr. Rooney, who served three combat tours in Iraq and is the father of five daughters, commended the adviser honorees and called on everyone to use their time and talents to have a positive impact on the world.
Awards in five categories were bestowed by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews to financial advisers from around the country who have made a remarkable difference in their communities and the world. Their charitable work ranges from feeding and sheltering the homeless in Clearwater, Fla., to educating students in Guatemala, to supporting military personnel returning home.
The five honorees will receive $20,000 for their charities, and the remaining 10 finalists will receive donations of $5,000 each.
“Recognition of the philanthropic work that financial advisers are involved in does indeed help — it raises more for important causes and encourages others to get involved,” said Bill Dwyer, chairman of the board of Invest in Others.