NEW YORK CITY — Tis’ the season to spread holiday cheer, and Team U-Haul recently had a special opportunity to do just that at the first Tribute Journey Holiday Afternoon Tea.
Teaming up with longtime charity partner Kathryn Cross, U.S. Navy Gold Star Mother and founder of the Tribute Journey, U-Haul proudly hosted Gold Star parents and family members at the New York City event.
It has become a tradition for U-Haul and Cross to host an annual Tribute Journey Afternoon Tea during New York City’s Fleet Week in honor of the sea services. However, this special holiday event paid tribute to Gold Star families and was held in their honor, and in honor of their lost loved ones.
Gold Star families are the immediate family members of a fallen service member. Cross began the Tribute Journey in the memory of her son, who gave his life for his country, and to communicate to other Gold Star families and service members that they will never be forgotten.
In addition to the Gold Stars, guests at the Tribute Journey Holiday Afternoon Tea also included other veterans and veterans’ service representatives.
Loree Sutton, former commissioner of Veterans Affairs for New York City, current New York City mayoral candidate and proud supporter of the Tribute Journey, gave heartfelt thanks and offered holiday cheer to Cross and all the Gold Star representatives in attendance.
Jeff Sonberg, U-Haul Company of Manhattan/Bronx president, stated: “The Tribute Journey Holiday Afternoon Tea brought our Gold Star families together to honor and share stories with one another during this special time of year.”
Known for exquisite holiday décor during the holidays, the Pembroke Room at the Lowell Hotel, a landmark of New York’s Upper East Side, proved again to be an ideal venue. Eric Dupaix, director of operations for the hotel, and his staff were honored to host the group and were generous in providing holiday amenities for the special guests.
Cross delivered opening remarks, and thanked U-Haul for sponsoring the event. English tea sandwiches, fruit tarts, French pastries, macaroons, herbal and fruit infusions, and a selection of teas were enjoyed by all.
Commitment to Veterans
“This event, in addition to our annual Fleet Week Afternoon Tea, has caught the attention and support of not only New York City officials, but other nonprofit veteran support groups as well,” Sonberg added. “The legacy and tradition of U-Haul Company’s veteran initiatives touches many corners of New York City’s large veteran population. We are firmly on the map, and I thank U-Haul for supporting our efforts.”
U-Haul was founded by a WWII Navy veteran and his wife in 1945. Many of the first U-Haul Team members, local dealers and customers were veterans returning from the war and seeking a chance to move their families to a better life.
A significant portion of U-Haul Company’s community outreach goes to honoring veterans and assisting groups that support veteran causes.