Easter Seals and Charities
Shown above (left) is the team at Race for the Cure, Little Rock, Arkansas with Victoria Mora, Joel Harrell, Chef Stormy in PINK FOR BREAST CANCER bandana and Chef Marti baking for 60,000 attendees. Center is Brian Dunn, USMC combat wounded and right is the Alone for Christmas dinner program created.
The plastic ARMY MEN & WOMEN that don't come in the bag as toys for our children to play with.
Army Major Tammy Duckworth lost both legs when the helicopter she was in was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade during a mission near Baghdad on Nov. 12, 2004. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)
Chefs Marti and Stormy Mongiello have taken a powerful and active role in high visibility charities across the United States of America, Europe and Asia spanning decades of hard work. Most recently, their companies have provided over 500 donations of room nights, cooking classes and financial gifts to veterans and charities of all kinds. Their primary focus has been on veterans since they are both disabled themselves and registered as disabled veterans with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The names of the charities are too long to list (many publicly thank The Inn of the Patriots on Facebook) and would bore most humans - thus allowing God to keep the master tally (phew! - thank you God).
- In 2008, having just opened up in the region, the chefs raised money and set a first ever record at the Neal Center Rockathon by cooking in rocking chairs. Senator Debbie Clary donated 150.00 to the Neal Center on behalf of the Chefs.
- In 2009, Senator Debbie Clary attended a special dinner hosted by Chefs Marti and Stormy with Kay Carter, Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Second Harvest is responsible for providing food to almost 650 non-profit agencies serving the hungry in a 19 county region of North and South Carolina. These agencies include emergency pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, low-income daycares, group homes and senior programs. In the past seven years, the total pounds of food distributed have increased from 7 million pounds annually to 37 million pounds annually. The pounds of food provided per person in poverty during this time period have increased by 250%. One of the major goals of Second Harvest is to eliminate childhood hunger in the Metrolina Region. In the past 7 years, hunger programs devoted to serving children have increased by 731%. Second Harvest is the third largest nonprofit agency in the area of health and human services in the Charlotte region with annual revenues including food donations of over 52 million dollars. Pursuant to this dinner meeting a massive allotment was made by the state to hunger programs.
- In 2010 Chefs Marti, Stormy and James Thomas (JT) created the "Christmas for the Poor and Lonely" event giving up Christmas Day to cook and prepare dinner with friends and fellow colleagues at Long Creek Church in Kings Mountain, NC. The event has become an annual event every year since then and includes gift giving, clothing donations and more.
- In 2011, the Chef Veterans hosted Troy Yocum of DrumHike who was marching across the USA towards 8,000 miles for veterans issues. Sgt. Ralph Castle of the US Army helped Chefs Marti and Stormy to attain intense publicity for Troy and his causes via local television cable interviews and CNN affiliate showcases. Additionally, Senior Chief Mongiello (Chef Marti) and Sgt. Castle joined Troy and Sgt. Mike Mills in marching to ULTRA (a local defense contractor) on the kick-off of an 11-mile journey and goodbye that was featured on CBS Channel 3, WBTV. This became the precursor to the all new Active Heroes Organization which recently won over $250,000.00 from Home Depot to build and refurbish homes for veterans. Mayor JD Ledford of Grover, NC also donated $500.00 while visiting the Wish Upon a Hero Humvee that followed Troy on his marches. The Shelby Star and Kings Mountain Herald ran simultaneous stories on the events held for three days.
- This same year a young man, Nathan Beck, disappeared in the Broad River Greenway and Sgt. Ralph Castle came to Chefs Marti and Stormy asking for them to get involved. Senior Chief Mongiello (Chef Marti) opened up the Eye in the Sky Center to help over 1600 volunteers working on the site for over a week to find the body. The Mongiello's donated material, work employee hours, food and money to the massive effort involving planes, helicopters, and command centers. The family was forever grateful and the funeral was highly attended. Originally, this led to the creation of The Christian Army which later developed into God's Helping Hand. God's Helping Hand is growing and organized.
- In 2012, a long-term US Marine who had been a project of God's Helping Hand and the Mongiello family called for help. He was Brian Dunn. Operation Zebra Six Two was stood up for his long journey to be operated on in Germany due to being blown up inside of his Humvee - and becoming the sole survivor. Brian had been able to work after many, many operations and returning back to the US. But then could no longer stand up and hold down his job at the US Postal Service. Chef Marti attended a lawn-mower race to raise money for Brian, hosted a luncheon at The Inn of the Patriots with Captain Charlie Dunn and also had Brian and Sgt. Ralph Castle, US Army - on a local radio show hosted by Bill Jordan. Bill is a former Vietnam US Army Officer. Brian opened up a fund. Marti wrote to Catherine Lash and requested she investigate and write a story - which she did. She wrote two. Other fundraisers were completed for Brian, his wife, and many children. The article was read and seen by an influential Doctor in California who suddenly offered to join the Marine Corps League in funding Brian's trip to Europe. After years of battling the system, having the power cut off to his home, threatened by mortgage companies and more - Brian was able to walk and work again in a pain-free life. The coverage in German newspapers and in America was extensive. Over the course of several months, many influential veterans became exasperated with Brian's situation and how he was being treated. At times, even the most powerful and seasoned legislators and officials hit brick walls that no known entity or person could scale or topple. Several versions of potent C4 stylized letters went out in America to shape charge punch through the walls and dozens of teams sent to attack, on behalf of Brian, failed, time and again. Brian's surgery was not legally allowed in America and not authorized by the FDA so only by leaving his country could he ever return to it again. The German hospital was one of a few that performed the surgery to high acclaim and success for many injured and crippled. The Mongiello Holdings, LLC companies endorsed and joined www.buyveteran.com and NAVOBA.
In May the primary landlord of the property (and owner) suddenly went bankrupt and the Mongiello's were faced with attending the foreclosure auction of the mansion they had been leasing for so many years. Being in an akward position with bookings into 2014 - they bought the property on the sidewalk of the Cleveland County Courthouse with a 7500.00 down check. Doctor Dean and Anne Ornish stepped in as good friends and paid the rest of the fee off immediately. The Mongiello's then secured an SBA loan via the pro-veteran Home Loan Investment Bank and Daniel Murphy.
- In 2013 the Chefs were approached by Easter Seals, their United Cerebral Palsy (Easter Seals/UCP) efforts and numerous other programs that Easter Seals helps with. The Chefs welcomed the opportunity to march in Charlotte and conduct a book-signing to provide a portion of the profits for Easter Seals/UCP. The Military and Veterans Initiative of Easter Seals/UCP is a helpful set of tools and programs for veterans. Linking to that portal will open up a world of opportunities for those in need of many things. Easter Seals/UCP was also covered by Marti with Miss America 2013 in his column at the Examiner. Over 68k was raised.
- On New Years Day of 2014, Chefs Marti and Stormy joined with Baby Rania to cook live in Lake Norman, cooking out in the water, during the 2014 Annual Polar Bear Plunge. Trump National Golf Club helped host the event. After serving up a fresh pasta salad they threw themselves into the cold lake with several hundred others to help raise money for Stop Child ABuse Now (SCAN). Cooking in Donald Trump's lake was terrific to do with Eric Trump and raising money for SCAN. 29 children were killed in our state the year previous alone, via abuse and hitting with fists and hands. The Presidential Culinary Museum, White House Chefs Kitchen Designs, Chef Marti and Stormy Mongiello, and The Inn of the Patriots Bed and Breakfast Hotel helped sponsor the Sixth Annual Lake Norman Polar Bear Plunge for Charity with 100% of all Donations to benefit SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Iredell County. In the sixth year now over $60,000.00 total has been raised and the Mongiello's also donated free meals, cooking classes and an overnight stay for the grand prize.
- In 2014, The Inn of the Patriots was featured as a disabled, veteran owned business on the front cover of Vetrepreneur Magazine (2/14) and in FOOD TV Network Magazine (1 and 2/14). Marti provided a program showcase and was invited as a guest speaker to The Sons of the American Revolution in Spartanburg, SC in February at Wades Restaurant and was honored with a small cannon and gold certificate. On February 21, Chefs Marti and Stormy teamed up with The Round Bistro and Chef Jack Acheson to conduct a benefit dinner featuring the Presidents of the United States favorites to benefit Cancer Services of Gaston County, NC.
- In 2015 we helped as a guest speaker at the ASMBA Star Foundation Dinner in Nashville, TN, visited Camp Luck for children with heart replacements and heart challenges, financed and supported the entire Black Hero Celebration and Dedication Day of Ishmael Titus on the Charlotte Walk of Fame. We also opened up and financed the Catawba Nation Hero Painting of Captain Redhead who helped create America (released in February, 2016). In August, we helped the Kings Mountain Farmers Market with a Kid's Cooking Class donated to raise awareness of farming. We had previously donated a class to the market earlier in the year and it went well.
- Through the years, the Mongiello's and their nine companies have amassed hundreds and hundreds of letters of donation and help. They showcase and share those at their inn to influence others that the reasons for opening and running a business are to change the world and help the human race on earth. Not to get rich.