2019 was a big year for the Travis Mills Foundation! This year, we served more veteran families than ever before, and our team grew to welcome new members of our family through the addition of employees, partner organizations, and generous supporters.
As we reach new heights, we remain focused on our greatest endeavor: supporting our recalibrated veterans and their families in the most impactful ways.
In February, we launched winter programs for the first time ever! Welcoming 32 families to enjoy ice fishing, cross country skiing, sledding, and more in Maine’s outdoors! In 2020, we plan to expand our winter programs by adding more weeks – including a week for Caregivers of our recalibrated veterans.
In the first quarter, we also worked alongside Deloitte on a full 3-year strategic plan to outline how we want to grow in the years ahead! You can watch the announcement of that plan here and learn more about how we plan to grow to expand our retreat!
In addition to growing the number of weeks we offer, this year we also announced our new Health and Wellness Center – focused on providing veterans and their families with lifelong skills that help them stay active despite injuries.
To support our expansion efforts, we held our flagship 5K fundraiser, Miles for Mills, on Memorial Day in Downtown Augusta. Our biggest one yet – raising an incredible $183,000! Shortly after, we partnered with Northeast Air on the Plane Pull at the Portland Jetport. Teams from all over Maine competed, and the Travis Mills Foundation raised over $100,000 to continue to ensure no veteran families pay for our programs!
It takes a lot of people AND things to make our program run, and thanks to the Lynch Family Foundation we received a brand new Ol’ Hickory Smoker to make the best-smoked meats for dinner, and with support from Progressive, we received two new vans to help us run our programs. For our veteran families, we partnered with Specialized to receive E-Bikes to help more veteran families get active with cycling!
As we welcomed veteran families, this year we welcomed Team 43 from the Bush Presidential Center. We partnered alongside them to offer our retreat program to recalibrated veteran families for a new way for them to bond together. During the summer, we also offered Shooting Sports thanks to the Veterans Afield Foundation and Sig Sauer, and this fall, we partnered with Operation Barbeque Relief for our Caregiver fathers – learning to cook brisket and so much more as they connected over food and their shared experiences with their military children.
In total, we operated 21 weeks of program at the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat this year – a new record for number of weeks operated!
As we headed into the holiday season, we were blessed with a donated title sponsor spot at the 2019 NASCAR Championship thanks to Bangor Savings Bank and Austin Theriault.
We continued to remain a strong steward of supporting military families locally and nationally by hosting our annual Vietnam Veterans Breakfast in March – welcoming home over 300 Vietnam Era veterans. In December we partnered with the 82nd Airborne Division to bring toys to over 1,500 children in the greater Fort Bragg community.
With all of our good work for military families, SSG Mills was invited to share his story on Fox & Friends! We had our largest #GivingTuesday in organization history – raising over $50,000 to fund our final week of programs in 2019!
Alongside the world famous Bangor Police Department as we celebrate the holidays, thousands of proud Americans sent us Christmas Cards which we have also shared with our veteran families and deployed troops abroad! Thank you for including us in a message from your families.
As we look ahead to 2020, we are wrapping up the incredibly generous Mortach Million Dollar Challenge – raising up to $1M for our veteran families thanks to Dave and Sophie Mortach.
Our organization is only as strong as the people who support us. We are grateful that you trust us to fulfill your support of America’s recalibrated veterans and their families, and we are committed to supporting them in the highest standards possible. Thank you for helping us honor their sacrifices while also empowering them to continue their service to our country.
Your donations make our work possible.
To make a 2019 tax-deductible donation so that our 2020 can be even bigger, click the link below. Donations can also be made by mail at 747 Western Ave., Suite 1, Manchester, ME 04351.