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Autographed Guitar Auction Raises $44,000 for Naval Veteran

November 7, 2016

Guitars signed during concert season at Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater

COLUMBIA, Mo. A company-wide auction at Veterans United Home Loans raised more than $44,000 to help build a smart home for a triple amputee Veteran. The event gave the company's 2,100 employees the opportunity to bid on and win autographed guitars by some of the biggest names in music, including Dave Matthews Band, Gwen Stefani and Kenny Chesney.

Several artists who appeared this summer at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, Virginia, signed guitars to help raise money to build a specially-adapted smart home for Navy Veteran Andrew Bottrell. The home will be built in San Diego by the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E Program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), which provides mortgage-free homes customized specifically to the needs of severely wounded Veterans.

To raise more than $44,000 from employee donations far exceeded our expectations, said Kris Farmer, chief marketing officer at Veterans United. Nearly every artist who played at Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater this summer signed a guitar. I'm extremely humbled by the number of artists who were willing to participate.

Bottrell was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10. On Oct. 1, 2011, his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He suffered extreme injuries, which led to a double leg and left arm amputation.

"I am incredibly honored the employees at Veterans United Home Loans chose me as the beneficiary of this fundraiser," Bottrell said. I am eternally grateful to them and the Gary Sinise Foundation for this amazing gift and for everything they do for the Veteran community.

Auctioned guitars were autographed by Brad Paisley, Collective Soul, Darius Rucker, Dave Mason, Dave Matthews Band, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Doobie Brothers, Florida Georgia Line, Goo Goo Dolls, Gwen Stefani, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith.

The donation from the employee auction is in addition to a $300,000 gift a Veterans United Foundation made in February toward the construction.

Veterans United Facts

  • $25.8 billion
    in loans financed in 2020
  • No. 33 on the 100 Best Companies to Work for List
    published by Great Place to Work and Fortune in 2021
  • More than $87 million
    raised for nonprofit charitable arm, Veterans United Foundation since Nov. 2011
  • More than 4,700 employees
    in more than 20 states

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Media Team

John Quin
Director of Communications, Veteran
(800) 814-1103 ext. 4540

Chris Cline
Senior Media Relations Specialist
(573) 817-4523

Meet The Expert

Chris Birk, Director of Education at Veterans United Chris Birk
Author, The Book on VA Loans

Chris is the nation’s leading expert on VA Loan benefits. He authored The Book on VA Loans in 2011, and maintains the VA Loans Insider blog. His analysis and articles have appeared at a host of sites and publications, including the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle and more. Members of the media may request a free copy of The Book on VA Loans to learn more about the VA loan program.

See Chris' Bio »