AU student organization to host fundraiser to help support local military veteran

Local military veteran Suzanne Seloover with her service dog Xena.

The Aurora University Veterans and Military Service Association will be co-hosting its second annual fundraiser to benefit a local veteran during the AU home football game on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. when the Spartans take on Concordia University Chicago.

The VMSA began in the fall of 2012 with a fundraiser for LCpl. Kyle Moser, a 20-year-old Oswego solider who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan. Undergraduate and graduate students worked together to raise more than $700 to help cover Moser’s expenses to accommodate his needs.

This year money will be raised to help with the training of a service dog for Suzanne Seloover, a female veteran with post traumatic stress disorder. The fundraiser is open to the public and all donations collected will benefit Seloover.

“The purpose of AU VMSA is to honor local U.S. Veterans, Active Duty Military members and their families through various service projects and advocacy,” said Tiffany L. Cunnally, AU VMSA President. “The goal of this particular fundraising event is to be able to have a direct and meaningful impact on the needs of a local veteran as a way to give thanks for her sacrifice. We hope that this event also encourages other members of the community to reach out and show gratitude to our local heroes.”

Seloover was first deployed in 1990 and spent the next six months in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait. After release from active duty, she continued her service as an advocate for veterans, working to change lives in a positive way. For several years Seloover believed she was the exception to the effects of war, but in November of 2012 it was recommended that she take time off due to her own increasing symptoms of PTSD. Following were months of PTSD and depression. With her family by her side, Seloover eventually decided to get a service dog and it has changed her life. For the past several months, she has been working with Paws Assisting Wounded Warriors in Palos Heights, Ill. to train Xena in anticipation of Xena becoming a service dog. Xena has been learning basic skills and commands, but now is at the point where intense training to become a service dog is at hand.

The fundraiser will be co-sponsored by the AU football program and AU Animal Rights Organization. “The coaches and players in the AU football program are proud and aware of the sacrifices that all of our veterans and members of the armed forces put forth for us on a daily basis,” said AU Head Football Coach Mark Walsh. “Raising funds and awareness for a worthy cause that helps make a seamless transition back home for our veterans is important to all of us.”

Through annual service projects and fundraising events, VMSA members hope to continue supporting local military personnel and veterans, each year choosing a different solider in need.

Anyone unable to attend the upcoming fundraiser, but interested in donating, can mail donations to:

Aurora University
ATTN: Kristie Brendel
Alumni Hall 113
347 S. Gladstone Ave.
Aurora, IL 60506

For more information, contact the VMSA at auvmsa@gmail.com.