2014 Newsletter: What an incredible year of FISHing!

February 17, FISH presented a Blue Star Banner to a local Kansas City mom whose son is serving in Afghanistan. Blue Star banners indicate a son or daughter is in a combat. A Gold Star indicates the family has lost a son or daughter in combat. The local Fox News affiliate picked up the story and ran it 4 times during the day.

Our first Heroes Dinner in 2014 was held on March 19 at 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW) Cherry Point, NC at the home of Major General Robert F. and Alicia Hedelund. Celebrity Chef Rick Tarantino, prepared a meal for over 30 Marines and Navy Corpsmen. FISH Board Member and Treasurer, Johnny Harris, along with food industry members Chris Ellis and Jeff Ray also in attendance.

April 14th, we had the honor of presenting a Powerchair to the Ft. Riley Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion. The Big Red 1 Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion, located in Western Kansas, was in desperate need of the chair and will enable it’s soldiers to get to their appointments in comfort and style. The chair was donated to FISH by an Olathe, KS family in honor of their father.

At the Annual Southeast Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Council Conference in Hilton Head. FISH secured the Marine Corps once again to present the colors and played in the Friday golf outing and once again, won many of the prizes. The evening was a big hit by also having the Marines and their spouses join the wonderful event. The SEFRC also presented FISH with a $5000 donation.

FISH’s 1st Companion Dog was present on April 27th to Marine Sgt. Trent Coleman (retired) in Olathe, KS. Trent served in Iraq from 2006 to 2009.  Over 300 people attended the event, which include several of Trent’s Combat buddies, which he had not seen since 2009. Trent and his companion Dog, Zeb have been on 2 vacations since April and are enjoying their camping, hiking, hunting and fishing trips. Three Dog Bakeries also donated a year’s worth of food and treats to Zeb and will be doing so for EVERY DOG FISH places!

The first West Coast Heroes Dinner was held at 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, on June 5th at the home of Lt. General John and Helen Toolan. Over 60 Marines and Navy Corpsmen were treated to a “feast fit for a kings”.  Pete Van Helden – President and COO,  Dan Meyer – Executive Vice President Retail Operations of Stater Brothers and also joined in the evening filled with stories or selfless service and sacrifice. And they wasn’t bad at all either.

June 9th, FISH sponsored 10 Gold Star Parents and their military escorts at the Gold Victory Dinner held at Ft. Riley, KS. FISH Ambassador Sgt. James Wilson (retired) represented FISH. This was the first time James had ever worn a suit and did a fantastic job meeting and greeting the parents, General Officers and guest. For those of you that do not know, James was 3 combat incidents in Iraq: shot twice in one day and survived, blown up while perform gate guard duty and three months later his Fuel Truck was hit by an RPG and sustained serious burns to 50% of his body. This event was a major success for James and was very proud of being able to serve these Gold Star parents.

Sgt. James Wilson (retired) on the left.

Sgt. James Wilson (retired) on the left.

June 14th FISH was a sponsor at the, Heart of America 239th Birthday of the United States Army hosted by the Greater Kansas City Henry Leavenworth and Topeka Chapters. FISH secured 12 of the 14 Special Guest Wounded Soldiers thanks to our relationship at Ft. Riley.

Medal of Honor recipients: Col Roger Donlon on left and Col. “Doc” Ballard on right.

Medal of Honor recipients: Col Roger Donlon on left and Col. “Doc” Ballard on right.

July 17th, BOD and Treasurer Johnny Harris and I attended Major General Raymond C. Fox retirement at Camp Lejeune. General Fox acknowledged Johnny and I and FISH within the first minutes of his comments and set the tone for the FISH handoff to the New Commanding General, Major General William D. Beydler. We are currently in discussions for a Heroes Dinner with General Beydler. While we were there, we presented a framed picture that is on display at the Wounded Warrior Battalion Facility at Camp Lejeune.

Food Industry Serving Heroes board members Johnny Harris and Paul Chapa present donation to Wounded Warrior Battalion East. Accepting is Commanding Officer Lt Col. Leland Suttee, USMC.

Food Industry Serving Heroes board members Johnny Harris and Paul Chapa present donation to Wounded Warrior Battalion East. Accepting is Commanding Officer Lt Col. Leland Suttee, USMC.

September 12, Major General Robert F. and Alicia Hedelund hosted the 2nd Heroes Dinner at Cherry Point, NC. We are so grateful to our industry partners and friends that helped make this dinner possible. This dinner celebrated the events in the lives of 20 of our Marines and Navy Corpsmen.

September 19, FISH celebrates its 1st Golf tournament in Kansas City. 122 golfers played with another 35 volunteers. The Silent Auction and sponsors generated $23,000! OUR FIRST GOLF TOURNEY! Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Roger Donlon was the Guest of Honor. KC Chiefs, KC Royals, soldiers from Ft. Riley, 3 hours away attended. Local Weatherman, Joe Lauria played and was instrumental in covering the tourney and getting an investigative reporter from Fox4 News onboard to help get the homebuilder for Staff Sgt. Dan Gilyeat to return after 7 years to make repairs that had been promised.

October 2nd. Black Mountain, NC Premier Sales and FISH Golf Tourney. Thank you to our friend and FISHerman, Jeff Brinkley. Jeff has held this tourney for many years and this year he committed to raising enough money to help support FISH is securing another future Companion Dog. For Jeff’s tourney, FISH shipped our 2nd dog, Avery, to be presented to Gunnery Sgt Donald Hopkins. This amazing Marine and Avery have become inseparable and a blessing to Don and his family. Many pictures and videos can be found on Don’s Facebook Page.


Oct 13th, 6th Annual Retail Patriot Award. Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer Magazine and FISH honored 5 retailers that have “gone above and beyond” to support our troops, veterans and military families. This year Celebrity Chef Rick Tarantino was the MC and Keynote Speaker was the 2nd in Command at Walter Reed Medical Hospital, Captain Sarah Martin. Special Guest, Gold Star Mom Debbie Austin shared her story about her son Shane that lost his defending our country. Thank you to our industry sponsor’s Chobani, Pictsweet and Palermo’s Pizza for helping make the event a tremendous success. We have the event PowerPoint available including three videos if anyone wants to share with business and industry friends to encourage them to get in the BOAT with FISH.

Captain Sarah Martin  

Captain Sarah Martin


December 12, 2014,

THREE DOG BAKERY RAISES FUNDS FOR MILITARY SERVICE DOGS -Veteran’s Day Proceeds Presented at Country Club Plaza Bakery

KANSAS CITY – America’s pet owners and Three Dog Bakery came together this Veteran’s Day to show our nation’s military veterans they care. Through its 2014 Veteran’s Day promotion, Three Dog Bakery raised $5,000 from a percentage of sales made through its bakeries, retail outlets and online on November 11th. At Three Dog Bakery’s Country Club Plaza bakery, officials presented a check for the amount raised to Paul Chapa, founder of FISH – Food Industry Serving Heroes. FISH will use the donation for the purchase of two service dogs. The two military recipients will also receive a year’s supply of Three Dog Bakery food and treats.

FISH engages the food and other industries in serving military veterans who have sacrificed greatly to guarantee U.S. freedom. With the donations from the Three Dog Bakery Veteran’s Day promotion, FISH will make a difference in the lives of two returning military personnel who benefit from the highly specialized service dogs.

Three Dog Bakery oversees 34 boutique bakeries for dogs, located within the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, and is known for its custom-made baked treats. The company provides Three Dog Bakery brand and private label packaged products to national and independent pet retailers, grocery, mass, club and drug stores, as well as through direct-to-consumer online sales. Among its most popular products within that retail segment are baked treats, like the Classic Crèmes and Lick’n Crunch cookies. www.ThreeDog.com

Desert Storm Vet Al Sanchez, WWII B-17 & B-24 Gunner Richards Yunghans and Three Dog Bakery President Aziz Giga.

Desert Storm Vet Al Sanchez, WWII B-17 & B-24 Gunner Richards Yunghans and Three Dog Bakery President Aziz Giga.

Dec 15, FISH went to the Commissary at Ft Leavenworth, KS and passed out Gift Cards to active duty soldiers. Cards were also sent for distribution at Ft. Carson and 2nd Marine Air Wing in NC. 

December 18, our industry friends Bob Bollach and  Joe Cervantes of Eastern Frozen Foods Association presented FISH with a $5000 donation that will help provide another Companion Dog to a deserving veteran.

At the moment FISHerman and Vietnam veteran, Kris Harris, is busy planning our 2nd Annual FISH Golf Tourney slated for Sept 25. Frank Schmitt of AWG had indicated that he would have 50 golfers at the 2015 tourney, and yesterday I had a visit from Sprint’s VETS ERG Vice President who also wishes to get more involved with FISH and the 2015 golf tourney. Sprint had some wonderful ideas for increasing our exposure in the KC and National Market. He was also kind enough to arrange a meeting with a non-profit in Kansas City started by a Marine called Semper Fishing! Developing partnerships with other vetted organizations that can fulfill needs outside our Pillars is important and makes us more relevant.

December 22, Kris and I also had the honor of meeting with a very successful business owner and who has been very active in the Kansas City not-for-profit community. Hope House, Big Brother Big Sister, Children’s Mercy Hospital. He has written laws that are currently in place in Missouri, he and his wife had a local talk radio show…. he and his raised $650k over a luncheon for the Under the Red Dress Project this February! This Disabled Air Force Veteran is wanting to get in the BOAT with FISH. Friends remember the scene from JAWS when the Sheriff Brody tells the skipper Quint, “you’re going to need a bigger boat”

Christmas Day, my family is taking these incredible men to see Unbroken. Charley Sibert was Tail Gunner on a B-17 and was shot out of skies over German on his first mission. He was taken prison by the Germans and spent 858 days as a POW. Richard Yunghans was a Waist Gunner on a B-17 and B-24 and competed 30 missions. Richard joined me at Three Dog Bakeries on Veteran’s Day and also for the check presentation on December 12th. FISH serves all of Heroes and Richard and Charley have been a true blessing to know.

The world is not any safer and the needs of our active duty military, veterans and families will continue for decades to come. FISH is relevant, needed and will be there when our military needs us. They served us, now it’s our turn to serve them. Your continued financial support is needed to continue serving our Nation’s Heroes. We encourage you to checkout our website for updates and donation options.

Respectfully yours,

Paul Chapa

President, Food Industry Serving Heroes , Inc.

Tax ID# 46-2044457

FISH's mission is to expand our Heroes Dinners to branches of service, provide active duty military and veterans’ financial literacy, wheelchairs and service dogs and jobs within the food industry. It is our belief that it is a privilege and honor to serve that have served us. The network of support from food industry mentors. We believe our Manufactures and Retailers will have a lifelong impact 4 Pillars: Recognition, Guidance, Health and Support on our Nations Heroes.