Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund
Remembering the Fallen, Imagining a Future: Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Gives Back Through Education
For families of soldiers who are injured in the line of duty or who make the ultimate sacrifice, the hardship of military service exceeds that of grief for a loved one. One way to help relieve some of the financial strain and to honor those who have served is to ensure that the children of these warriors are given the opportunity to pursue higher education. The Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund (JMSF) was created with this purpose: to honor military service and sacrifice by providing scholarships to veterans and military family members, especially to children of our nation’s fallen or disabled.
The Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund was inspired by John McHugh, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010 after serving 24 years with the United States Army. A West Point graduate, Blackhawk Pilot, and a colonel in the U.S. Army, McHugh inspired many, including a group of his West Point classmates who came together to raise money to help his five children through college after his passing. In 2014, this same group of classmates founded the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund in honor of McHugh and to continue their positive impact on the lives of veterans and military families.
MaryEllen Picuitto, President of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, says, “To lead a life of service, whether it’s in the Armed forces or after hanging up the uniform, is something all of us who have gone to West Point and served in the army are compelled to continue. We knew how important education was to our inspiration, John McHugh, and we want to continue his legacy.”
The organization funds its scholarships and education programs through best-in-class nonprofit partner organizations, all of which share the common goal of honoring military service and sacrifice by providing scholarships and education programs to the veterans and military family members that need them the most. So far, the Fund has served over 4,000 students and awarded over 25 million dollars in scholarships.
“We have been successful because we have an important mission and an amazing community involved with us,” says Picuitto. “This includes West Point classmates, donors, volunteers, recipients, and partners like Anthem Snacks.”
To support the mission of JMSF, Anthem Snacks auctioned off a one-of-a-kind 60" X 48" Acrylic on Gallery-Wrapped Canvas. The painting, titled "The Golden One" uses bold colors and big brush strokes to represent individualism and the American spirit, a legacy that the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund (JMSF) provides by assisting the children of our nation's fallen through education scholarships. Anthem matched the winning bid of $3,150, and raised $6,300. 100-percent of the proceeds were donated to the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund. The painting is part of the "Montana Collection," consisting of three large custom works by western painter Bria, each of which was commissioned specifically for its chosen nonprofit organization.