Dilberian smart home one step closer to fruition

The campaign to build a smart home for Bryan Dilberian, a triple amputee Afghanistan veteran born and raised in Brooklyn and an alumnus of Fort Hamilton High school, got $3,255 closer to its goal, thanks to a donation made by three IHG Army Hotels properties and the Lend Lease Community Fund.

The check was presented on August 16 to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation “Building for America’s Bravest,” a program aimed at constructing smart homes for severely wounded veterans, that is working in partnership with The Gary Sinise Foundation.

It all started when earlier this year when Denise Sutton, the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express at Fort Hamilton, met Jack Malone, a local activist, at a meeting held in the Command Building on Fort Hamilton.

Sutton asked Malone about a flyer that he was carrying for a benefit for a young soldier by the name of Bryan Dilberian.

When Malone told her Dilberian’s story, Sutton decided that “this is a cause she would love to be involved in.”

Sutton asked two other managers who work near her New York location if they would like to join in and contribute to the worthy cause, and they happily agreed.

“Each and everyone one of their team members worked tirelessly to raise the money to be donated,” said Sutton.

“Each manager agrees that there is no greater gift than giving back to those who gave so much of themselves to keep us safe each and every day,” she continued. “We wish Dilberian and other Wounded Warriors throughout the nation the best that life has to offer and for those who have fallen, our heart-filled thanks.”

“We are getting there,” commented Malone about the donation. “Everything is going to be fine with Bryan Dilberian,” he said, with community members stepping up to help raise the necessary funds to build a house that would improve the Wounded Warrior’s quality of life.

Efforts to raise the $200,000-plus necessary to build Dilberian’s home, which will be located in either Brooklyn or Staten Island, started this year. It was kicked off on Valentine’s Day by students at Visitation Academy, who raised more than $4,000 for the cause through a bake sale.

If you would like to contribute to this cause, or read other veterans’ stories, visit http://www.tunneltotowers.org/homes_for_the_brave.aspx.

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