We believe that together we can make a difference...Giving back through life-changing experiences.
How This Program Got Started - The idea originated on Christmas Day after returning home from Fort Belvoir where Help Soldiers sponsored a Christmas Dinner for those soldiers who were unable to go home for Christmas for whatever reason.
During this event, we were able to spend some quality time with Amy Altersitz, the USO individual in charge of events, and her combat veteran husband, Tom, who volunteers at the base. We heard part of their “story” which still remains with us. While Tom was serving in a combat area in Iraq several years ago, he learned that his 7 year old son had passed away. Hard to imagine the pain and helplessness being in a war half-way around the world and getting that crushing news!
We arranged to have lunch with Amy on our way home from Key West in February. We asked if she and her husband would allow us to “treat” them to a week in Key West. Her response was, and I quote, (a) “Are you serious?” (b) tears of joy/surprise and (c) “no one has ever done anything like that for us!” We took that as a “YES”!
"The military provides care for a sick child and their families until the child dies. The parents are then abandoned at a time when they need us most."
- Vice Admiral (Ret.) Harold M. Koenig, Former Surgeon General of the Navy
About JAMES R. McGONIGLE
In Dec. 2020 I created a free, audio book entitled ”No Place for Common Sense” that reflects my life’s journey as a serial entrepreneur. All references to my business career can be documented. The main focus of this book is to highlight the important role that self-confidence has played throughout. It has been the most cathartic experience of my life because it caused me to revisit people, places, and events that I probably would not have ever thought about again. The website is www.noplaceforcommonsense.com
A bit about my education and other involvements. I earned my BS in Economics at Widener University and my M.B.A. in Finance at Drexel University. I am also a Mensa Member. Below is a partial summary of my business career...You can go to www.noplaceforcommonsense.com to learn more.
(a) Stansbury Mining – became a partner of Dr. Frances Christiansen, head of geology at the University of Utah and past president of the world council of geologists, in 1975. In 1978, I negotiated a $100,000,000 deal with Martin Marietta that involved them building a cement plant in Leamington, Utah. As a result of this deal, the stock price went from a penny to a dollar in a little over one year. I left the company in 1980.
(b) Margate Ventures – I founded this company in 1984 and brought it public in 1985 as a “blind pool” at two cents/share. In 1986, I negotiated a deal that resulted in Margate acquiring the New Haven Foundry located in New Haven, Michigan. At the time of acquisition, the foundry was doing $35,000,000 per year in business. Over the next two years, the stock traded over one dollar per share. I left the company in 1987.
(c) Ventnor Corp. – I brought this company public in 1987 as a “blind pool” and in 1988 acquired proprietary wound healing technology. Then in 1991, I acquired the patents on a high-resolution ultra-sound scanner. In March of 1992, Ventnor was listed on the Emerging Company Marketplace i.e. the American Stock Exchange. At the time of listing, the stock had risen to six dollars and twenty-five cents from the initial public offering price of two cents/share, resulting in the company’s market cap going from $400,000 to over $120,000,000. That meant that a $200 investment in September of 1987 was worth $62,500 in March of 1992! I left the company the next month.
(d) Aquasearch, Inc. – This company was formed by a group of marine biologists from Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Dr. Mark Huntley, the founder and CEO, asked me to join the company for the purpose of bringing them public in 1989. I brought them public as a self-underwritten deal at five cents/share. Their patented technology allowed this company to grow commercial grades of algae indoors for the first time ever. The applications were only limited by the imagination. I left in 1990 and the stock reached a high of one dollar and fifty cents. They moved their location to Hawaii afterwards.
(e) Longport, Inc. – I founded this company in 1993 and brought it public in 1994 through a SB2 registration with trading beginning at ten cents/share. Over the next nine years, my partner, Dr. Mary Dyson (a world renowned expert in ultrasound) and I, took intellectual property rights that originated in England and developed, patented, and secured FDA clearance to bring this ultrasound device to market. The stock rose to a high of four dollars and fifty cents per share when we secured the FDA clearance in 1999. There were many challenges along the way—to say the least. I brought in the former co-founder of QVC to take my place and I left the company in 2003.
(f) HelpSoldiers.Org Program – I started a network in June of 2011 involving a free, anonymous, discount prescription card business to raise money for the Walter Reed Society (www.walterreedsociety.org) from revenue not donations. My daughter, Patty, has been the only person involved in the networking effort. Since inception, we have generated $623,481.50 in donations and were the largest donor in 2012 to the Society. As of June 30, 2022, we have generated 2,493,924 gross transactions with 1,246,962 being paid transactions; this while saving individuals $17,960,387 on their medication costs or 45.7%. A few of our more significant donations are providing a new vehicle to the Home Of The Brave Foundation (www.homeofthebravefdn.org); providing a much needed specialty wheelchair for a 28 year old military dependent who is 100% disabled; and we were honored to be chosen to host/sponsor Christmas Dinner for our wounded soldiers and their families on Christmas Day at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD. where we raffled off over $27,000 in Walmart Gift Cards! Because of the success of that event we were invited to host several other holiday events for our soldiers and their families. Also, in 2016 we partnered with the “Make A Wish” foundation to create an initiative that would provide “wishes” for seriously ill children of veterans where we funded $40,000 to grant the wishes of 4 children.
We hosted a holiday event at the Fort Belvoir medical facility for 200 wounded soldiers and their families on November 15th, 2017 and a children’s Christmas luncheon on December 20, 2017. We sponsored an “Ice Queen” party for the children of our military stationed at Fort Belvoir and on Christmas day held a Christmas dinner and raffle for those soldiers unable, for whatever reason, to go home. In January, 2019 we sponsored a “Coast Guard Appreciation Day” in Key West FL, while we were on vacation. Later in 2019, we created a totally new program, “Operation: Key West” which provided military parents, that have had to deal with losing a child, a 1 week, all-expense paid vacation at a location of their choice. Recently, we funded a play station at the Portsmouth Naval hospital for seriously ill children undergoing cancer treatment. This marked the beginning of expanding our OKW program to include funding other needs of seriously/chronically ill children being treated in military hospitals across the country. General Ronald Blanck (Ret.), the former Surgeon General of the Army and former Commander of the WRNMMC, and Vice Admiral Harold Koenig, the former Surgeon General of the Navy, are the co-founders of this program.
(g) Find A Cure Rx Program – Started in March 2012 with the same exact concept as the above Help Soldiers’ program, however, this initiative involves the Breast Cancer Research Foundation -www.bcrfcure.org. Since inception, we have generated $343,556.50 in donations and became one of their corporate donors after passing their $10,000 threshold over 9 years ago. In the process, we have generated 1,358,468 gross transactions resulting in 679,234 net transactions and as of June 30, 2022 , saved individuals over $25,748,900.00 on their meds or 45.6%. Please check out a 2-minute video by Myra Biblowit, the president of the BCRF, endorsing our program at our website www.findacurerx.org.
***Milestone—We recently passed the $40,000,000 mark in combined savings, while generating over $950,000 in combined donations—an achievement we are very proud of, considering our pharmacy discount card, is both free and anonymous. In addition, all of these results were accomplished by 1 individual, my daughter patty.
B.S. Economics—Widener University
M.B.A. Finance—Drexel University
Member of Mensa
Who’s Who in America—2023
Published Poem—“Our Fading Flag”
Ronald Ray Blanck
Allegiance: United States of America
Service/ branch: United States Army
Years of service: 1968–2000
Rank: Lieutenant General
Commands held: Surgeon General of the United States Army
Battles/wars: Vietnam War Cold War
Awards: Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Star Medal
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ronald Ray Blanck, D.O. (born October 8, 1941) was the 39th Surgeon General of the United States Army, from 1996 to 2000. He is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and is the only such physician ever appointed Surgeon General of the Army. He was also president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth from 2000 to 2006. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Career: He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine. He began his military career in 1968 as a medical officer and battalion surgeon in Vietnam. He retired 32 years later as the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command, with more than 46,000 military personnel and 26,000 civilian employees throughout the world.
During his military career, he also served as commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center; first commander of the North Atlantic Region Medical Command; and Director of Professional Services and Chief of Medical Corps Affairs for the U.S. Army Surgeon General. Other assignments included Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine; Chief of the Department of Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center; Commander, Berlin Army Hospital; and Commander, Frankfurt Regional Army Medical Center.
He has held teaching positions at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University College of Medicine, The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
He joined the UNT Health Science Center in August 2000 after his retirement from the U.S. Army and served as president until June 30, 2006. As president, he headed an academic health center that includes the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health and School of Health Professions. He is now is a partner and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Martin, Blanck & Associates. The company, formerly Martin & Associates, does health care consulting for the private sector and the government. He is consulted as an advisor on bioterrorism issues and an expert in preparing the medical community to respond to mass casualty incidents or those involving weapons of mass destruction. He chaired task forces on bioterrorism for both the Texas Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association.
Honors and recognition: His military honors include Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medals.
Vice Admiral Harold M. Koenig Retired
Vice Adm. Koenig is a native of Salinas, California and a 1958 graduate of Salinas Union High School. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and later received a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University in 1962. He received a medical degree from Baylor University College of Medicine in 1966. He was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in general pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology.
Koenig advanced to Diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives in February 1995. He received “The 1994 Federal Health Care Executive Award for Excellence” from the American Hospital Association in March 1995.
From 1967 to 1969, Koenig served as general medical officer, Fleet Activities, Sasebo, Japan. Following a Residency in Pediatrics (1969-1971) and Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (1971-1973) at Naval Hospital San Diego, he remained at the hospital serving as the chief, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division (1973-1980). In 1980, Koenig reported to Naval Medical Center Oakland, California, where he served as chief, Pediatrics (1980-1983) and then director of Medical Services (1983-1984).
In June 1984, Koenig became executive officer of Naval Hospital Portsmouth, Virginia. He served in this role until July 1985 when he returned to California, becoming the commanding officer of the Naval Hospital San Diego (1985-1987). He assumed command of Naval Health Sciences Education and Training Command (NMETC), Bethesda, Maryland, in July 1987. This was followed by staff tours as: director, Health Care Operations in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and Deputy Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) for Health Services Operations. Koenig served as deputy surgeon general of the Navy from July 1994 to June 1995. In June 1995, Koenig was appointed surgeon general of the Navy; he served in this role until his retirement in June 1998.
Koenig’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.
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