Representatives from Operation Warm Heart delivered a heartfelt message of gratitude to Southern Highlands board members and residents gathered for the master-planned community’s first board meeting of the new year, held January 18, 2018.
Spearheaded by the First Sergeants’ Council of Nellis and Creech Air Force Base, Operation Warm Heart is a private, non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to local airmen and their families.
For more than a decade, Southern Highlands has recognized Operation Warm Heart as its charity of choice, with community events throughout the year—such as the Winter Festival and Tree Lighting—
providing opportunities for residents to make donations and financial contributions to the organization. To date, Southern Highlands has raised nearly $180,000 for Operation Warm Heart.
Outgoing First Sergeants’ Council president Msgt. Jonathan Baysa thanked meeting attendees for their continued support year after year and shared the story of one young airman who received financial support to help feed his family of four, thanks to Southern Highlands.
Added incoming council president Msgt. Jose Sanchez, “There are hundreds of examples that happen throughout the year—it’s not just during the holiday season. Your contributions help throughout the whole year.”
That said, the holidays are still a time when help is in highest demand, and Msgt. Kevin Rice shared statistics with board members to demonstrate the positive impact of their fundraising efforts, which this year resulted in 270 Thanksgiving dinners and a successful Christmas toy drive that collected $75,000 worth of toys and $1,100 in baby clothes for local military families in need.
“[Your support] touches so many people in our small community on the north end of town,” said Rice.
Representatives of Operation Warm Heart also presented board members with a collection of coins bearing the insignia of each unit based at Nellis and Creech. Angela Rock, executive director of the Southern Highlands Charitable Foundation, joined board members Angie Williams, Larry McCullough, DC Graham, Robin Nedza in accepting the coin on behalf of all Southern Highlands residents.