On August 15, at Summit Place Kia of Waterford, the 5th Annual LaLonde Charity Open concluded with the presentation of a check for $126,530.03 to the Friends of the Veterans Treatment Court of North Oakland and the Friends of the Veterans Treatment Court of Macomb County.

Supporting the Treatment Courts - Supporting the Veterans

The $126,530.03 raised this year eclipsed the $90,779 raised last year for the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) due in large part to the generosity of those who attended the golf outing, wine tasting, silent & live auctions, and numerous charity drives, as well as the support of local businesses, this year's event sponsors, and the selfless sacrifice of the volunteers - many of them veterans themselves.

This year's check presentation opened with the Presentation of the Colors, performed by the Holly Color Guard, and included a few words from the following speakers:

  • VTC Veteran Mentor Coordinator, Rhett Reader
  • Program Coordinator for the Oakland County VTC, Kristopher Marku
  • 41-B District Court judge Carrie Fuca
  • CEO of Auto Credit Express, Rich LaLonde
  • Senior Vice President of Auto Credit Express, Dave LaLonde
  • Director of Special Events for Summit Place Kia, John Oswald
  • County Executive of Oakland County L. Brooks Patterson

Kristopher Marku also spoke on behalf of 51st District Court Judge Jodi R. Debbrecht Switalski, a key supporter of the event who was unable to attend this year's ceremony. Also, we'd like to once again thank our wonderful event sponsors for helping to make the event a success:

Rallying Support for 2016

In order to raise even more money next year, plans for a 2016 LaLonde Charity Open have already begun. Organizers are currently forming committees and looking for sponsors. If you care about the welfare of our nation's heroes and want to learn more about the Veteran's Treatment Court, or if you would like to join Summit Place Kia and Auto Credit Express in supporting local Veterans, please visit LaLonde Charity Open website for more information.

About the Veterans Treatment Court

Combat-related illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury can lead to substance abuse among veterans, and this abuse can sometimes lead to legal issues. The Veterans Treatment Court model was developed to address this issue.

Individuals who enter a Veterans Treatment Court program are required to make regular court appearances, attend mandatory treatment sessions and submit to frequent and random testing for drug and alcohol use.

Veterans typically respond favorably to the structured environment offered by a Treatment Court, and program completion makes it possible for afflicted veterans to stay out of the criminal justice system. Veterans Treatment Court programs give at-risk Veterans the support and assistance they need to be functional and productive fathers, husbands and members of the community.

To learn more about how the Veterans Treatment Court works, or how you can get involved, visit justiceforvets.org.