It is with pride and honor that I write this nomination of support for Jack C. Waters, Jr. for the 2019 Bulldog Hero Award. I have known Jack since 2014 when he came to work at the UNC School of the Arts. One of the first events that Jack helped organize was Staff Council’s annual recognition of veterans. Staff Council through Jack's leadership, partnered with the Military Affiliated Students Task Force, to offer several events in honor of veterans. In addition to the annual luncheon on Veterans Day, there was an Open House at our Teaching and Learning Center and a screening of a short documentary film, Son of Lexington, filmed and directed by UNCSA alumni Joe Cornelius, about Joshua Harris, a local artist and Navy Seal from Lexington, NC who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. It is through events such as this that I had the opportunity to learn more about the caring, compassionate and dedicated side of Jack Waters. One day I was having a conversation with Jack about these Veterans Day activities, and he started telling me about community events that he has played an active role in. • Since 2010, Jack has played a major role in coordinating an annual event held in Lexington, NC, known as “Ride for Angels”, to raise funds for Hospice of Davidson County’s capital campaign. • From 2011-2014, Jack was the Director of the “Josh Harris Veterans Festival” held at the Davidson County Fairgrounds, which featured live music, food vendors, and a motorcycle benefit ride to raise funds for the “Fort Bragg Fisher House” in North Carolina, “Give to the Troops” in South Carolina, and other agencies that help soldiers overseas in combat, families of injured soldiers and our veterans. • Currently, Jack is the director of an annual event called “Big Bikes for Purple Hearts”. The money raised is donated to the Northwest Piedmont Purple Heart Foundation. From Matt Horvat, Staff Council Chair at the UNC School of the Arts (where Jack works and was the 2018 recipient of the Staff Outstanding Community Service award): "Big Bikes for Purple Hearts" is an annual fundraiser Jack Waters created and has managed since 2016. It is one thing to read about it on paper, or hear about it through word of mouth, but I was fortunate enough to encounter this miles-long cavalcade of motorcycles on a sunny afternoon in June. Several hundred men and women managing motorcycles in two long, neat rows is an incredible sight to behold. A sight that stopped traffic as motorists facing the opposite direction were compelled to pull over and watch for minutes as the crew passed. What is especially impactful is knowing that not only were the motorcycles heading in the same direction, but for the same reason: to give their time and money back to their community.” From Ginger Amos, President of Northwest Piedmont Purple Heart Foundation, wrote the following to me: “Jack has worked with the Northwest Piedmont Purple Heart Foundation for the past four years in planning our annual Purple Heart Banquet to honor Purple Heart Veterans, Gold Star families and deceased Purple Heart family members who reside within a 16-county area. Each year it takes a rather large budget to recognize these veterans and one guest with a reception, banquet, token of appreciation and entertainment. Jack has organized a bike ride each year that we call Big Bikes for Purple Hearts which brings in riders from all over the state of North Carolina as well as South Carolina and New York. This year we had approximately 270 riders participate in the ride as well as purchase raffle tickets, shirts and participate in other fundraising and enjoy the entertainment. Jack is the contact for every aspect of this event: publicity, food, entertainment, ride, law enforcement detail and raffle items. In 2018, the bike ride raised $8,023.00. Jack's drive and determination for this event is his love for Veterans! He has seen first hand in the response from the Purple Heart Veterans in attending this event and the recognition that they receive and love and appreciation from this group.” From Jack’s wife, Rhonda Yocum-Waters: I know he is my husband but he gives back so much! Plus he took on me with my 9 children from my first marriage. I know that is not community service, but sure says a lot – he is A GREAT STEP FATHER. Yes, I am truly blessed.” Jack is a tireless advocate for both veterans and our currently-serving military through fundraisers for veterans, active service members and their families. He has organized large-scale motorcycle rides, festivals and fundraising dinners to support those causes. He manages “Big Bikes for Vets,” a non-profit organization to honor and raise funds for Purple Heart Veterans. Jack Waters is the epitome of what going above and beyond is all about Thank you for taking the time to read this nomination and for considering Jack Waters for this prestigious award.