Support Our Soldiers Dinner a success

Published 2:45 pm Monday, June 10, 2013

Chief Justice Roy Moore, left, joined Rachel, Charon and Thomas Rivers at the Support our Soldiers dinner. (contributed)

Chief Justice Roy Moore, left, joined Rachel, Charon and Thomas Rivers at the Support our Soldiers dinner. (contributed)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

The second annual Support our Soldiers Dinner was held on the Wednesday evening following Memorial Day at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. Chief Justice Roy Moore was the guest speaker and 300 people attended. Former Marine and present Army Capt. Adam Sanders spoke as well. The event produced about $15,000 for local non-profit organizations.

Hosts of the event were Hoover’s Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Rivers and their daughter Rachel, founders of the 501 (c) 3 organization that sends care packages to our troops serving abroad.

The family began the organization in honor of their son/brother, Marine Lance Corp. Thomas Rivers Jr., who was killed in action by an improvised explosive device in April 2010 in Afghanistan. Rivers was a graduate of Briarwood Christian School.

Chief Justice Moore, a West Point graduate and Vietnam War veteran, shared his appreciation for the armed forces and all those who have served and are presently serving. He shared personal stories of men who had served alongside him and their brave and courageous acts. He praised our military and thanked those who were present. He recited patriotic poetry and inspired the crowd with his usual enthusiasm and love for God and country.

The colors were presented by the United State Marine Corps Anti-Terrorism Battalion of Bessemer and music was provided by Homeland. Dinner was provided by Shane’s Rib Shack.

The Blue Star Foundation displayed their photo wall of fallen heroes and approximately one half of the people in attendance were veterans.

There are many everyday items you can donate to be sent to our troops. Examples of items needed are as follows: Shoe strings, baby wipes, hard candy, hand sanitizer, peanut butter crackers, protein bars, toot brushes, tooth paste, coffee, sport drink powder and more. A list of items and further information is available on the Support our Soldiers website.

For more information on Support our Soldiers and how you can help, please visit Supportoursoldiersala


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a community columnist for Shelby County. She can be reached at