Viewers step up to help Memorial Day celebration

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 21:23:24-04

It took 10News viewers less than two days to step up and help volunteers for the annual Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day celebration.

10News first reported Monday the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day Committee needed help.

"We're in dire need of water and unfortunately, money," said committee chairman Jeff Simonides.

"I was disappointed because I thought it was something so simple," Escondido resident Rita Laverty said after watching the 10News story.

She couldn't believe no one stepped up to provide three pallets of water bottles after the regular sponsor didn't respond to the committee's inquiries this year.

"That's when I decided I was going to go ahead and call Sprouts and see if I could get to the right person, which I did," she said.

Laverty was able to quickly reach the Executive Director of Sprouts' new Healthy Communities Foundation.

"I was pretty confident we could do it and you know it just took a few minutes to make that call," said Lyndsey Waugh, who added the grocery chain was instantly interested in helping.

The water is expected to be delivered to Fort Rosecrans this weekend for the volunteers and visitors to the event.

"It made me feel really good because I felt like my dad was looking over me and saying, 'You've got this,'" said Laverty whose father is also a military veteran, albeit from England.

Raymond Green was a British Army veteran but volunteered at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla for more than a decade.

"He walked five floors and he visited the sick," recalled Laverty.

Green died in February and was buried at Miramar National Cemetery alongside American servicemembers.

"I'm so proud of my father -- always will be," said Laverty.

10News viewers also stepped up financially. Simonides said they needed roughly $4,000 to pay for police, more buses to transport people to the event, and scholarships for high schoolers.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Simonides said they are about 95 percent to their goal.