Veteran Tickets Foundation Interview
Veteran Tickets Foundation is a national non-profit and non-governmental organization which delivers free event tickets to Veterans and family members of Veterans. The organization consists of a group of business people who are also Veterans and family members of Veterans.
Vet Tix enjoys helping people and watching them relax and having fun with their families, and that makes them happy. The help of any kind would be appreciated, and you can help them easily by donating tickets through the social network channels. They are serving current serving military including Guard and Reserves, veterans of all eras, families of those killed in action and caretakers of VetTixers. Take a few minutes and read the interview below to find out more about the organization.
- What is your organization’s name and what do you do?
Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix). I’m the Chief Marketing Officer
Tempe, AZ based Vet Tix provides free event tickets with a small delivery fee to all current serving military including Guard and Reserves, veteran of all eras, families of those killed in action and caregivers of VetTixers. As we wind down 2017 we have over 670,000 VetTixers and distributed over 3.8 million tickets. Our 10th anniversary is in 2018. According to our research, sadly 75% of our VetTixers find it difficult to afford tickets to events, so we are providing an outstanding opportunity to attend events they may not have access to tickets or cant afford.
- When and why have you decided to create this community?
In 2007, while attending a self-expression-leadership course at Landmark Education, Mike Focareto (a Navy vet) was challenged to create a business project that changed our local Arizona community. His modest plan was taking a few vets to a baseball game on Memorial Day.
Then while attending Super Bowl XLII in Arizona in 2008 with a friend he had a epiphany. During the opening ceremony, one of his friends who was serving in the military came out with the Color Guard. After the presentation, the color guard was not given seats and was escorted off the field and allowed to stand in the mezzanine. They were both frustrated at the snub or oversight. Even more frustrating however was the fact that two seats near Mike went unused the entire game. “It was at that moment, that the idea for the Veteran Tickets Foundation took wings and became a reality a month later.”
Mike knew that someone needed to bridge the gap between those holding tickets for various events that would go unused and those truly deserving of them. He began reaching out to sport teams, theater groups, concert promoters, and others special events asking that a small percentage of unused tickets be donated to Veterans and their families.
Mike now serves as CEO of the number 1 ranked nonprofit per the annual Great Nonprofits Survey. 95% of funds go to programs and every penny donated goes to buy more tickets.
- What/who is your biggest inspiration?
Our inspiration after all, who has sacrificed more, and even missed out on more than our military veterans, their families and their caregivers serving around the world. Every day is Veteran’s Day to us.
- What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
Per Mike, “I could easily say when we hit our first million tickets served a few years ago or even hitting the 1 million tickets milestone distributed in 2017, but it was a testimonial that rocked me…a Vietnam Vet sent me a photo of he and his 30 year old son at a Nashville Predators hockey game that he had received from Vet Tix…his son passed away from a heart attack 2 days later…he was so passionate about the fact his last memories and smiles with his son were due to us…it was then I knew our impact was more than just an event to attend. I’m so proud and grateful he told us that emotional story.”
- What are the hardest moments you have to deal with occasionally?
Today we have over 600 past and present military people joining Vet Tix everyday and we receive approximately 3-4000 thousands of tickets every day as well…but trust me in our early days it wasn’t that easy. A lot of folks thought we were too good to be true and wondered who we were…it took us years to build the trust of our ticket donors. It was frustrating to be told no.
- Do you get any other support from other organizations, communities?
If so, feel free to highlight any third party contributors and partners that help you reach your goals, they’d surely appreciate the highlight
We receive tickets from artists, venues, individuals, season ticket holders and of course most major and minor league teams in all sports, auto racing, family entertainment programs, concerts and the performing arts. Our biggest donor is Live Nation.
- Does your organization offer any special activities, events, promotions or any gatherings?
Let us know of any recently achieved, current and forthcoming events planned and implemented
No one event….we treat all programs the same. We send out approximately 1 million emails each day to VetTixers describing all the opportunities they have locally to see events.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Any specific goals you aim to reach?
We are investing in technology that will speed our ticket process to share more tickets to more members. We see significant growth in number of members and number of tickets distributed. Our growth and value will continue to attract significant national military organization partners like Semper Fi Fund and the VA providing vale to their members. Which in turn will attract national corporate and consumer sponsors to market their brands with us. That type of support we expect and hope we will power us to be a House Hold brand name in the military arena.
- Any other additional comments and/or observations?
From the 200,000 plus testimonials we receive we know we are adding smiles and memories everyday, but we also our learning that we are impacting those affected by PTSD and those assimilating back into civilian life and within their families. Again something we are very proud of.
Finally, how can people reach out to you?
Name, address, phone, *website and *social media channels
SO JOIN US!!! Signing up or donating tickets is easy – Facebook and twitter are main channels
Thank you for support and reading this interview from your professional moving company in Delray Beach, Liberty Moves.