Vikings Owner Lenny Wilf's Haven From The Storm Foundation Presents Homeward Bound

Posted Nov 10, 2013

On Sunday, November 10th, 2013, Alan Alda and Joe Mantegna will host HOMEWARD BOUND,, a live four-hour national telethon to support American veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Presented by Haven from the Storm and broadcast by the Military Channel (Discovery Communications) the telethon will be broadcast from the historic American Legion Hall #43 in Hollywood from 7:00-11:00 PM (ET), with phone banks manned by veterans, celebrities, and dignitaries. Multiple Emmy-winner Gary Smith is executive producer, Lee Miller is producer and Gail Purse is co-producer/talent executive.

The broadcast will feature celebrities, music and comedy entertainment, telethon results and profiles of charities that will benefit from the telethon. 

Haven From the Storm founder Lenny Wilf commented, "It's important to recognize the valiant contributions made by brave American soldiers, veterans who protect our country, and return home with PTSD and TBI. This cause is in my heart and I suspect that's true for many Americans who care."

PEOPLE is teaming up with HOMEWARD BOUND because of the magazine’s commitment to providing assistance to men and women who served in the military.  A portion of the night’s proceeds will go to one of PEOPLE’s charities, Operation Finally Home, which has built more than 30 custom-designed mortgage free homes for wounded and disabled veterans.

A significant portion of the broadcast will be devoted to testimonials and personal stories from veterans and their families who have experienced difficulties as they returned from the battlefronts of WW II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere:  These include: decorated war veterans Staff Sergeant Ty Carter (2013 Medal of Honor recipient) and Staff Sergeant Kyle Hausman-Stokes (Bronze Medal recipient); US Paralympic Medal Winner Lance Corporal Brandon Pelletier; actor/Navy SEAL Joel Lambert (“Manhunt”);  and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Bob Friend.

Among the celebrities who will appear or perform on the telethon are: Mark Harmon, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, Rocky Carroll, Michael Weatherly, and David McCallum (NCIS); Patti Austin, Jason Bateman, James Brolin, Michael Feinstein, Connie Francis, Jason Gould, Charles Hirsch, Gloria Loring, Marty Papazian, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kevin Spacey, Steve Tyrell, and Ben Vereen.   Additional celebrities will be announced shortly.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety condition that follows the occurrence of a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, combat, sexual assault, domestic violence, or any type of life-threatening event. PTSD was previously referred to as battle fatigue or shell shock. An incident that has a profound, stressful effect on an individual can trigger the disorder. It can occur at any age, affecting children as well as adult men and women. Very often, when a person is afflicted with PTSD, other conditions may also arise, such as Depression, alcohol addiction and substance abuse. Medical conditions may occur as well, due to the fact that the body is being subjected to a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Traumatic brain injuries can result in bruised brain tissue, bleeding inside the brain, large or small lacerations in the brain, and nerve damage due to shearing forces. The brain can also experience a number of secondary types of damage, like swelling, fever, seizures, or an imbalance of neurological chemicals. A traumatic brain injury may either be a penetrating injury or a closed head injury.  

Penetrating head injuries occur when an object, like shrapnel, enters the brain and causes damage in a specific area.  

Closed head injuries occur when there's a blow to the head, which can happen during a fall, car accident, sporting event, or any number of different ways.

Haven From the Storm was established to support returning service people, address the particular problems faced by vets today, aid in their recovery and provide assistance for their re-entry back into productive society.  Established in 2012 by Leonard Wilf, Connie Francis and Bruce Charet, and registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity, Haven From the Storm will engage in fundraising activities to benefit returning service men and women. The Homeward Bound Telethon is one such activity, and the Haven From The Storm Foundation will continue to offer funding to many reputable charities.

As a partner in the television production company Smith-Hemion, Gary Smith created many of the most distinguished specials and events.  The team has won an unprecedented 27 Emmy Awards.  From the celebration of Liberty Weekend, to most of Barbra Streisand's specials, Mr. Smith has been responsible for putting the “special” in television special.  He produced Paul McCartney’s first television special, Elvis Presley’s last, Bette Midler’s first and Bing Crosby’s last.  He was Executive Producer of eight Tony Awards and has produced numerous Emmy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, the Democratic National Convention, Baryshnikov on Broadway, ten years of AFI “100 Years, 100 Films” specials; ABC’s 24-Hour Millennium coverage; Command Performances specials for the Queen of England; as well as productions for Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, The Apollo Theatre, Woody Allen, Radio City Music Hall, I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show Reunion. among others.  A graduate of Carnegie Tech’s Theatre Department with a degree in Scenic Design, he became the producer of the Judy Garland series in 1963 and two years later created the series “Hullabaloo.”

The Military Channel brings viewers compelling, real-world stories of valor, heroism, and courage from pivotal moments in American history, whether they were on the battlefield, in popular culture, or behind closed doors. Currently available in more than 62 million homes, the network incorporates the best state-of-the-art CGI animation, never-before-seen footage, and gripping interviews to offer in-depth explorations of the armed forces as well as seminal world events and iconic figures that shaped our nation’s history, including the Cold War, the struggle for Civil Rights, and the Space Race. For more information, please visit,, Military Channel is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 218 countries and territories.

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