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Community Support

Alton Phillips

My name is Alton Phillips. I am a former Marine Vietnam vet and I have stage four rectal cancer from exposure to Agent Orange, and receiving care at the Mather VA hospital. I’ve been here since December of last year taking chemo and radiation and this is my fourth week of radiation. I have two more weeks to go not including this week and I should be cancer free soon. My Doctor said that my body is reacting to the treatments real nicely and I have a lot of people to thank. I didn’t have a clue that I would have this kind of communication with Tim when we first met at a job festival, but he and I have been talking to each other since that time and he has helped me more than I can ever put into words. My life was at a state where I had no way to get back and forth from the doctors for my radiation, so he made it happen for me. I want to thank Gilmore HERO Foundation for all that you do and are doing for all veterans, not just me. I’m grateful to you for every veteran that needs assistance to try to move forward and do better. I’m 69 years old and I’m grateful to be alive, and I have a lot to be thankful for. May God bless every single person that has something to do to make this possible. Thank you.

Alton Phillips

Sons of American Legion in Placerville

On behalf of the Sons of The American Legion in Placerville, we thank the foundation for their donation. We use our funds to help veterans in our community as much as we can. The Hero Foundation’s donation will help us out tremendously. 

Bill Bryant
Squadron Commander of Sons of American Legion in Placerville

gilmore hero foundation testimonial

Joe Wren, Local Hero

Joe Wren, the Chief of Police for the city of Placerville, helped our organization get a foot in the door helping our community. He is the definition of what the Gilmore Hero Foundation considers a Local Hero. We look forward to always having a great relationship with him and his department.
Veteran Non Profit

Tim Whalen
Board Member/Volunteer
Military Family Support Group & El Dorado Veterans Resources

To Whom it May Concern,

Please let this letter represent my deepest gratitude and respect for Mr. Chris Whitaker and Gilmore HERO Foundation for their exceptional outreach and support for veterans in need throughout the El Dorado and Sacramento County region.

Mr. Whitaker contacted me in June 2021 via a referral from another community veteran to schedule a meeting to discuss the mission and goals of the Foundation. Chris took the time to listen to my experiences and “hear” my concerns, which left me with confidence and assurance that Gilmore HERO Foundation would be an outstanding partner in our mission to help veterans where other programs and services can’t, won’t, or don’t cover.

Since our meeting, Chris and the Foundation have stepped up to each and every request I’ve submitted (with appropriate justification) and has continued to be available to consider additional requests. Throughout the recent Caldor Fire in El Dorado County, Chris has been in continuous contact with me in effort to provide direct support to evacuees and those who have lost their homes.

In my opinion, Gilmore HERO Foundation (& Chris) has all the best qualities of personal character, patience, generosity, empathy, and community support. Veterans who have benefited from Gilmore HERO Foundation have expressed sincere appreciation for the tremendous support they’ve received in their time of need.

I remain thankful to work with Chris and look forward to an ongoing and productive relationship with Gilmore HERO Foundation.

Tim M. Whalen
CPO, USN (Ret.)


Community Leaders Treated to a Day of Golf

The Gilmore Hero Foundation takes great pleasure in treating our local Heroes to a day out on the course.

Foursome for the Placerville police departments annual golf tournament: First place went to these gentlemen, from left to right, Ebon Slack with the California Highway Patrol’s Capitol Protection Services; Chris Whitaker, Gilmore Hero Foundation; Russ Hasemeier, Battalion Chief El Dorado Hills Fire Department; Marc Glynn, Captain, Roseville Police Department.

Chris Whitaker working with Sargent Litzius, Placerville Police Officers Association

Gilmore Hero Foundation Placerville

Partnering With Local Foundations

We are proud to partner with other foundations in our community. Our team had the wonderful opportunity to work with Thrive 10-35, El Dorado County Sheriffs nonprofit foundation. This amazing organization promotes the well-being of all El Dorado County Sheriff’s officers and their families.

From left to right: Jennifer Bloxsom, committee member; Janine D’Agostini, President/Founder; Chris Whitaker, Gilmore Hero Foundation.

Placerville Police Department K9

Thank you Gilmore Hero Foundation for your generous donation that helped us purchase of our newest K9 Ares! Gilmore Hero Foundation has been a huge supporter of the Placerville Police Officers Association and the Placerville Police Department over the past couple of years.  We appreciate everything their team does for our community and look forward to working with them on future projects!

Officer Robinson and K9 Ares

STATION 25 Placerville Ca
Pictured left to right: Fire Chief Tim Cordero, Chris Whitaker, Rob Sime Captain/Paramedic, Jacob Poganski local 3556 President firefighters union

STATION 25 Placerville, Ca

El Dorado County Fire Protection District recently received a generous donation from the Gilmore Hero Foundation. The donation will be used specifically to provide support to firefighters by providing them with additional uniform items. Firefighters are using and laundering uniforms more frequently due to covid-19 exposures, enhanced decontamination procedures after fires and increased fitness initiatives.

This donation will assure that firefighters have access to additional clean uniform items during their work day. As an Independent special district, the El Dorado County Fire Protection District relies entirely on the support of the community it protects.

Donations like this help to fund special projects and programs or other areas where service needs exist. Thanks again Gilmore Hero Foundation for supporting us, and we look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.

Rob Sime
Station Captain/Paramedic
El Dorado County Fire Protection District

Myron R. Harrison Headstone

Thank you Gilmore Hero Foundation for providing assistance with the cost of the headstone for my parents. The cost of funerals can be very expensive and they do not give veteran discounts outside of memorial cemeteries.

My mother passed in 2007; we had already purchased a headstone. At the time, we didn’t know that veterans get a free headstone from the VA, but it cost extra for spouse’s engraving.

After my father passed, we thought he would have liked to have a military headstone, but it was going to cost to have the old one removed and the new one placed in the existing spot, plus engraving cost. We weren’t sure we could afford it. That’s when I reached out to the Gilmore Hero Foundation and they agreed to cover the cost of everything that VA wasn’t going to cover.

We are very happy that the foundation was there for us during some financial stress. Thank you for all you do for veterans in this community. 

Mary Criswell

Joshua Tasabia

Joshua Tasabia

My name is Joshua Tasabia. I have been a Deputy at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office for approximately five years.

My wife Emily and I made the decision to move to El Dorado County to work and start a family of our own. On October 23, 2019, I went on a ride along with deputies from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s office. I was on scene with Deputy Brian Ishmael and two other EDSO deputies responding to a theft at a marijuana grow. We came under intense gunfire from one of the suspects operating the grow. During the exchange of gunfire, I was struck in the left hip. Deputy Brian Ishmael sustained an incapacitating and ultimately fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

In an effort to evacuate Deputy Ishmael, I dragged him through the marijuana grow and steep terrain to a safer location. In doing so, I severely injured my back and knees. My injuries have forced me to medically retire. 

Emily and I were amazed at the outpouring of support for the Ishmael family and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Since then, we have been trying to move to El Dorado County. With the housing market at an all-time high, and waiting on my medical retirement to be approved, finding a home within our budget has been difficult.

The Gilmore Hero Foundation stepped in to help. They have provided a place to set up our trailer while we continue to search for a house. The Foundation has also helped us with legal fees incurred while fighting to receive my medical retirement.

We are forever grateful to the Gilmore Hero Foundation helping us take the first step to becoming a part of this great community.

Joshua Tasabia

Sal Messina

Sal Messina Computer Repair

85-year-old Veteran, Sal Messina ready to get back to work after much needed repair to his computer. 

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