At Folds of Honor, investing in the education and the tomorrows of veterans and their families is not only considered a duty, but more so an honor. So, when longtime military supporter Roadmaster Group — a high-security transportation company based in Glendale — joined the nonprofit in its efforts, a dynamic partnership emerged.
In early May, Roadmaster Group unveiled a multiyear sponsorship agreement with Folds of Honor to provide several scholarships to the immediate dependents of fallen or disabled servicemen and -women.
The scholarships, valued at $5,000, cover private educational tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12 and also assist with the costs of postsecondary education.
Because Roadmaster Group is a component of national security, John Wilbur, Roadmaster Group’s CEO, called the partnership with Folds of Honor a no-brainer.
“Our largest customer, by far, is the U.S. Department of Defense. We are moving those kinds of sensitive commodities for the military. Our trucks and our drivers are on military facilities every single day,” Wilbur explained. “So, when I became familiar with the Folds of Honor organization, I was like, ‘That’s just the perfect fit for us.’”
Roadmaster Group’s support, which is not a one-time gift, but a four-year pledge, will help Folds of Honor expand its outreach — ultimately benefiting more military families, said Folds of Honor Vice President Ben Leslie.
“Having new partners like John and Roadmaster come in — not only commit to a large donation, but commit to four-year, large donation — helps us help new people, budget and prepare,” Leslie said. “We know that probably three or four kids can go through college and see their academic career start and finish because of Roadmaster.”
Scholarship assistance is given to the widows and children of service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, including traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, severe PTSD and death.
Kevin Cummings, chairman of Folds of Honor Arizona’s board, noted the nonprofit’s first concern — local scholars.
“One of the things I like most about our organization: the money that’s raised in Arizona stays in Arizona. Not until we meet the demand in Arizona can any of the money raised here go elsewhere,” Cummings said.
Not only does Folds of Honor have a patriotic mission, but Wilbur added it has an efficient way of executing that mission.
“A high percentage of the donations that go to this organization get directly into these scholarships. When someone is contributing, like us, we know that’s not being lost in abusive administrative charges or anything — (but) actually getting to the recipients of these scholarships,” Wilbur said.
The life-changing support Wilbur is extending speaks to his leadership, Leslie said.
“Roadmaster Group and John are making a positive community. To help military families right in your backyard — there’s not a lot to stand up like he and his company does; his employees; customers; and truck drivers,” Leslie said.
“We couldn’t do what we do at Folds of Honor without the patriotic generosity of Roadmaster.”