NFL, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Fred Funk Golf, Amy Grant's Farm and more: Learn how your support for Challenge America improves the lives of Veterans and their families


This is a busy and exciting week for Challenge America. We just returned from our Music Therapy Retreat in Nashville, where we hosted another emotional and successful event on Vince Gill and Amy Grant’s farm. With this retreat, we managed to double the number of participants served while cutting the cost per participant by nearly 50%. And we did this without any loss in our program quality or the results produced. 


On October 12, we head over to our local Aspen Colorado Mountain College campus for the official opening of the National Exhibit of Veteran Art. You may recall we opened this exhibit last summer in downtown Aspen, where CMC approached us with the idea of extending the exhibit well into the winter months by moving it to their beautiful Aspen gallery. This opportunity allows us to showcase these amazing works to an ever-larger audience and thereby gain greater support for the efforts of veteran artists and the art therapy programs that sustain their work. To see these works for yourself, please stop by CMC or visit our digital gallery at

On Friday, the team hits the road again. This time we’re headed to Richmond, where we were selected as the nonprofit beneficiary of the Fred Funk Golf Tournament for the Brave. From there we make our way to Cleveland for our first music therapy retreat in this amazing community. This retreat kicks off on October 19 at the beautiful Lodge at Geneva on the Lake. Following the therapy sessions, the entire group will make it’s way to Cleveland, where they will attend the Browns-Titans game and have the privilege of going on the field to meet the players. Following this, we walk next door to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where the participants and their songwriters will host a private concert for family and friends, featuring the music created during our retreat. This is truly shaping up to be an amazing event! To learn how you can support these efforts, please visit our donation page at

Meanwhile, we are making our final plans for the Aspen Snowmass Military Ski Week, which runs from December 13-20 in Aspen Snowmass. This event coincides with the 50th anniversary of Snowmass and therefore offers a unique opportunity for Xcel to share the amazing story of your success in employing and retaining veterans. In addition to the information I have already shared, I am also proud to announce that this event will also coincide with the kick-off conference of a new national Military Sisterhood Initiative. Working with our nonprofit partner, Women Injured in Combat (WINC), this initiative endeavors to combat the rising toll of suicide among women of the military. Its strategy for doing so is to create a national peer support network of military women, bound together by virtual tools as well as regional and national meetings. This is truly a timely and powerful effort to address the significant yet largely unknown epidemic of female veteran suicide. We are also proud to announce that this year, a portion of the proceeds from this event will support the amazing work of local veteran nonprofit Huts For Vets. HFV leads veterans on life-changing backcountry treks to the amazing 10th Mountain Hut System. To learn more, visit our website at

Dallas BlaneyComment