Mary Ross is the director of sales, catering and marketing at the Doubletree Hotel in Jackson.
She’s also one of the directors for the West Tennessee Veterans’ Coalition involved with making sure those who’ve served the United States military who now reside in West Tennessee are recognized and taken care of.
Ross and the coalition are preparing for Veterans’ Day and all the events that go along with it, and the first one on the schedule is Nov. 2 with the second annual Military Ball.
“We had such a great event last year, and we’re excited about the event this year,” Ross said.
United States Congressman Mark Green will be speaking at the event. Ross said his discussion will focus solely on his own military experience serving in the Army as a medical doctor.
He’ll probably go into detail with instances that are not in his book, “A Night with Saddam,” which chronicles the night of his highest-profile mission as the one who gave former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein his medical examination after being captured in December of 2003.
The ball is a fundraiser for the coalition’s Veterans in Crisis fund, which officially began in January after the first ball in November of 2022. The fund is designed to help veterans who need quick money for any reason.
“We’ve assisted 19 people who are either currently serving or are veterans with grants for immediate financial needs,” Ross said. “Some of them were a $200 food card at Walmart or paying a truck bill after one lost their job or things like that when they’re having a hard time financially.
“Our veterans gave their lives for years with the possibility that they’d have to sacrifice their life for our country, so if we can somehow make their life at home less stressful by making sure they’re taken care of, that’s something we should do.”
The goal for this year is to raise more than $40,000 for the 2024 Veterans in Crisis fund.
The event is planned to be bigger this year as they’re moving it to Madison Downs in North Jackson. It’s set to start at 6 p.m.
Individual tickets go on sale on Sept. 1. Sponsorships are available at any time.
Anyone wanting more information or interested in tickets or sponsorships can call 423-341-3330 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Military Ball will be connected to the Veterans’ Day events a week later with the Veterans’ Day Service on Friday, Nov. 10, at Englewood Baptist Church, followed by the Veterans’ Day Parade in Downtown Jackson on Nov. 11 with the Disabled Veterans of West Tennessee serving collectively as the Grand Marshal.
Brandon Shields, email@example.com