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Anita Neu-Fultz, executive director, Armed Services YMCA, presents Loretta Hughes with an appreciation certificate for her efforts during the 7th Annual Heart To Heart Luncheon at the Desert Princess Golf Resort in Cathedral City, Calif., March 8, 2014. “I appreciate everyone’s hard work that went into planning this event, and look forward to many more like it honoring our military women and wives,” said Neu-Fultz. (Official Marine Corps Photo By Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Active duty women, wives honored at Heart to Heart luncheon

8 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Active-duty women and wives of active-duty service members from the Combat Center attended the 7th Annual Heart To Heart Luncheon at the Desert Princess Golf Resort in Cathedral City, Calif., March 8, 2014.

The luncheon, hosted by the Heart To Heart Palm Springs Organization, honored women, both spouse and those currently serving, by treating them to a lunch that included live entertainment, prizes, a fashion show and a guest speaker.

“This event is truly a blessing,” said Glenda Esconde, military spouse. “Not only do I get the opportunity to spend a day with my ladies, but also a chance to get out into the world, get rejuvenated, and ultimately be more supportive of my husband.”

Heart To Heart Palm Springs is ran by co-founders Nancy Carter and Ella Mae Rawlings who narrated for the event. The first lunch dates back to 2007 when Rawlings and Carter wanted women from the Combat Center to know they were loved, appreciated and not forgotten as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were continuing.

“We understand that freedom isn’t free, and being a military spouse can be full of difficult times,” Carter said. “We greatly enjoy hosting these events every year, reminding our military wives and active duty that they are greatly appreciated and are always in our hearts and prayers.”

Accompanying their wives to the luncheon was Col. James Hanlon, chief of staff, and base chaplains, Navy Capt. Steve Moses and Lt. Cmdr. Dennis Wheeler. Each of them took turns drawing names for prizes and speaking briefly on the importance of honoring military wives and active-duty women.

“I’m very grateful for my wife and I to have the opportunity to be here, as well as everyone else in attendance,” Wheeler said.

Carter and Rawlings, who solicited various companies for donations, acquired more than 40 gift baskets given away as prizes, which included various items such as movie tickets, gift cards, vacations, bath and body supplies, spa packages and newborn baby supplies. 

“This event couldn’t be made possible without our generous donations,” Carter said. 

At the end of the luncheon, a special thanks was made from Carter and Rawlings to Anita Neu-Fultz and Laura Scotto, the Armed Services YMCA director and coordinator, who got the word out to the attendees about the event.

“I appreciate everyone’s hard work that went into planning this event, and look forward to many more like it honoring our military women and wives,” said Neu-Fultz.



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