Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
The Oklahoma City Thunder will once again partner with the Tulsa-based Folds of Honor Foundation to raise funds to benefit the families of soldiers killed or disabled in service to their country. Special Thunder Cares collection buckets will be distributed throughout the BOK Center during Friday night’s sold-out preseason game against the Phoenix Suns, and the Thunder will contribute an additional $10,000. The Thunder and the Folds of Honor Foundation raised nearly $17,000 during a similar fundraiser at the preseason game in Tulsa in 2010.
“We are honored to again partner with the Folds of Honor Foundation and provide our fans in Tulsa an opportunity to support this tremendous organization,” said Thunder Senior Vice President Brian Byrnes. “The foundation’s mission of providing educational assistance to military families is an incredible way to honor and support those who sacrifice so much for our nation.”
The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Maj. Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA professional and USGA member. A major in the Oklahoma Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. After returning from his second tour, Maj. Rooney witnessed a profound situation that drove him to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. Maj. Rooney will be in attendance at Friday’s game and will speak to the fans at half-time to deliver that message of support and thanks.
“We are very proud to partner with the local team once again to help our military families,” Maj. Rooney said. “Through the generosity of the Thunder organization and its fans, we are able support and honor the families of our wounded and fallen heroes, making sure that their legacies live on.”
There are more than one million dependents of fallen and wounded military service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone, and 87 percent do not qualify for federal education assistance.