Heroes’ Café Director Gary Walderman of Edmonds was honored by the Seattle Mariners last month for the work the Lynnwood-based organization does to honor, celebrate and assist local veterans.
The award was made during the Mariners’ Salute to Service Night April 22. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Walderman was nominated by Edmonds resident Monica McNeal of the Gold Star Families of Washington.
“Gary Walderman and his Heroes’ Cafe team are an engaging and impactful veteran support entity in Snohomish and King counties and the City of Lynnwood’s team to contact on all veteran initiatives,” McNeal wrote in her nomination letter. “In addition, he holds commander positions in four local veteran service organizations, where he leads 240 veterans that provide outstanding and right-on-target assistance to a myriad of veterans requirements.
“His expert and effective leadership made significant, positive impacts to assist and celebrate the 700-plus, multi-generational corps of Heroes’ Café registered local veterans,” McNeal continued.
Since January 2017, the Heroes’ Cafe has fulfilled approximately 1,500 veteran-centric requests for information and assistance, raising $70,000 to meet their diverse challenges. This included providing gas cards, clothing and furniture for transitioning homeless and in-need veterans or widows, as well as computers and internet access for house-bound and other veteran employees, plus critical car repairs.
Walderman also worked with local agencies to assist and provide resources to move 40 homeless veterans off the street and into into transitional housing, then into permanent housing.