A Springfield bakery donated $125,000 to a military organization that helps the families of service members injured or killed in the line of duty.
Klosterman Baking Co. partnered with Folds of Honor in the past year after President Chip Klosterman heard the nonprofit’s founder, Maj. Dan Rooney, speak.
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“(Rooney) saw a wounded warrior on a plane and they were disembarking the plane and the cockpit said, ‘Would everybody please stay seated while we have the fallen warrior disembark the plane,’” Klosterman said.
Rooney looked out and saw the family, the casket and people leaving the plane who seemed like they didn’t care, Klosterman said. That struck a nerve with him and Rooney decided something needed to be done. So he founded the group.
Folds of Honor assists families with any unmet educational needs, awarding scholarships of up to $5,000. In addition to the donation, Klosterman Baking designed special packaging for its products with the Folds of Honor story. Those products will be on store shelves in May.
Tricia English is glad Rooney started the organization. The Columbus woman learned about Folds of Honor about a year and a half after husband’s death
“We lost my husband Capt. John English,” she said. “(He) was killed in action in Iraq in December 2006.”
Her sons were 3, 5 and 7 at the time of his death. The family came to Klosterman’s downtown Springfield bakery this week when it announced its donation.
“The military was our community for so long and you know once he was gone, we were no longer part of that community,” she said.
Her family also lost some benefits as well.
“What most people don’t realize is, about 90 percent of those that are injured or have been killed don’t qualify for a lot of the educational benefits that are provided,” she said.
Her 19-year-old son Nathan English recently received a Folds of Honor scholarship. He will use it for books, room and board and other education expenses.
“It’s a huge relief to not have the gloom hanging over your head, to not have to eventually pay back student debts,” Nathan English said.
He attends Ohio State University but plans to transfer in the fall to the University of Alabama. The financial assistance will help his move down south.
“Especially out-of-state for the University of Alabama, it’s quite expensive and that luxury has only been afforded to me because of donations like the Klosterman’s through Folds of Honor Foundation,” Nathan English said.
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