Memorial Day, “A Hero’s Best Medicine” From Fisher House

This Memorial Day from 3-6 pm, WCHL proudly airs “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” a national radio special (with a Chapel Hill tie) produced by the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides a home away from home for the families of hospitalized military veterans.

Founded by Zachary Fisher, the Fisher House Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Today, there are 65 Fisher Houses located near military and VA hospitals across the country – including one near Fort Bragg.

“A Hero’s Best Medicine” is produced by the Foundation and hosted by Doc Washburn. The first hour of the show (airing Monday at 3 pm on WCHL) will feature a segment on Chapel Hill’s annual “Marathon Jam” – a 12-hour musical jam session organized by John Santa and hosted by the American Legion, with proceeds benefiting the Fisher House. (You’ll hear WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the segment.)

Fisher House Foundation Programs and Community Relations VP Derek Donovan joined Aaron on WCHL this week.

Tune into WCHL on Monday from 3-6 pm to hear “A Hero’s Best Medicine” – and visit to hear more about the Fisher House Foundation.

Marathon Jam Aims To Raise Money For Military Families

CHAPEL HILL – Local musicians will play music for 12 straight hours at the tenth annual Marathon Jam this Saturday to help raise money for families of injured military personnel.

Here’s local musician and organizer John Santa.

“The reason I do this charity is because it keeps families together,” says Santa. “All the little kids know is that mom or dad is hurt or mom or dad is away in the hospital. This lets the kids and families stay close. That helps the healing—just having the love and family together. That’s what it’s all about: no politics allowed. It’s just about families and honoring the sacrifice that the families of these soldiers make.”

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Fisher House at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville.

The Fisher House hosts families of injured soldiers for free who are admitted at VA hospitals. There are 58 Fisher Houses across the United States and Germany. In just over two decades, the charity has assisted more than 180,000 families.

In previous years, much of the proceeds came from friends, family and local organizations sponsoring the musicians for how long they played. But Santa says this year; the marathon jam will not just be limited to music.

“A cool thing we are doing this year is we are opening it up for some artists, says Santa. “We are going to have some people painting. We call the players that play for the whole 12 hours ‘Iron Pickers.’ We may have our first ‘Iron Painter’ this year. We are going to have two painters with easels up, one sketch artist, and I think two photographers coming in and taking pictures and stuff.”

Santa says a solider that just this week returned from duty in the Middle East will also join in the effort.

“There’s a group called the Baghdad Bad Boys and one of the Bad Guys just got in from Kuwait on Tuesday,” says Santa. “He lives in Sumter, South Carolina and is driving up so that he can come up and play with us after being away from his family and friends for a year. That’s how important this thing is to the soldiers and their families.”

The Baghdad Bad Boys also participated in the 2010 Marathon Jam.

For the fifth straight year, the marathon jam will take place at American Legion Post 6 on Legion Road from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged.