DEARBORN (WWJ) – A non-profit organization is hoping to benefit from the celebrity of a World War II Veteran for their annual fundraising dinner.

Angels’ Place, a non-profit organization to help the developmentally disabled, is holding its annual fundraiser for the nineteenth year in a row. Their keynote speaker is Louis Zamperini, whose life inspired the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.

Angels’ Place Executive Director Cheryl Loveday said she was inspired by Zamperini, an Olympic Athlete whose dreams were cut short due to World War II when he was called to service and then held prisoner.

“He just signifies such a spirit of resilliance, and having read his book, I’m just amazed at his tenacity and his forgiveness.”

Loveday said the special evening will serve a tribute to war veterans as well as raising funds for their organization, which was founded by five moms who were concerned about what would happen to their developmentally disabled children if they could no longer care for them.

“I just think that is such a story of hope in how their passion to ensure that their children would be cared for, which then propelled itself into, you know, 19 years later and 19 homes and over 100 people served,” Loveday said.

“The individuals that we serve have a cognitive disability which can include among other things, autism, physical disabilities, hearing loss and blindness,” she continued.

Loveday said if you want to meet Zamperini, you can help out their organization at the same time.

“Tickets cost $175 per person and there’s also an opportunity to purchase a patron ticket, which allows an individual to be in a private reception with Louis Zamperini, and tickets for that are $250 per person.”

The fundraiser will take place Nov. 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. For more information, click here.


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