Few causes could tug at your heartstrings more than one that offers support to all those grieving the loss of a loved one – especially a loved one who died in military service to our country, honored as a national hero. Family members left behind are equally deserving of compassionate care as they struggle to pick up the pieces and move forward.
With such caring hearts, our Colorado team was very moved by this cause and wanted to do something to increase awareness and help boost the spirits of these families. And they found the perfect way to make it happen!
As the official glass company of the Colorado Rockies, the Safelite team was given the opportunity to select a charity worthy of spotlight recognition on the field before a game. They immediately chose The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope to those grieving the loss of a fallen military hero, and has assisted more than 70,000 surviving families, casualty officers and caregivers.
With 24/7 support through a national peer support network, TAPS connects these families and loved ones to counseling and grief resources – all at no cost to them.
TAPS also provides a variety of programs to survivors nation and worldwide. Their National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp has been held annually in Washington, D.C. – over Memorial Day weekend – ever since the program started. TAPS conducts regional survivor seminars for adults, youth programs at locations across the country, and retreats and expeditions around the world.
On the night of the big game, Area Sales Manager Sabra Taylor was honored to join Team4taps coordinator Leigh Edmonds in making all the arrangements to honor Staff Sergeant Leonard Ray Zahn Jr. He served in the US Army for 17 years with seven deployments – one each to Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait, and four tours to Iraq. In recognition of his service, they invited his surviving family members Jen, Savanna, Hunter and Lara, who reside in a small town near Colorado Springs, to attend the game as honored guests.
Prior to the game, they were taken on a tour of Coors field and had the opportunity to meet the team mascot. Some players also made it a point to meet the family and sign autographs. They also were offered photo opportunities for pictures with the players and around the stadium.
The family received some special gifts as well – Rockies swag, and complimentary tickets to watch the game. During the game, they were recognized on the jumbotron, with a special tribute to the husband and father they miss so much.
“I can’t express adequate words to thank Safelite for making this happen,” Leigh said. “They went above and beyond to create such a special day for Jen, Savana, Hunter, and Lara. Creating these incredible moments for survivors is what teams4taps is all about.”
She went on to say “Our goal has always been to aid the families in the healing process by building new and happy memories, while still being able to honor and celebrate the memory of their fallen heroes. The enduring smiles of Jen and her children at the end of the event were proof that our mission was achieved.”
Team4taps also gave a shoutout to Safelite through Twitter, tweeting “Sincere thanks to Safelite for inviting TAPS to the Rockies game today! It was very special and we are grateful.”
Jen and her family were very appreciative to be honored that day. “I wanted to thank you again for the experience with the Rockies,” Jen said. “We really had a great time!”
Sabra was deeply moved by her team’s participation in this event. “This was such an honor to be a part of,” she said. “These kids will remember seeing their names alongside their dad’s name on the jumbotron! This was such an emotional and heartfelt experience.”
Leigh hopes that this will not be the last time she partners with our Colorado team. “We’re so grateful to Safelite for their recognition and support of TAPS and our surviving families!” she said. “We look forward to working with Sabra and Safelite again in the future.”