Dear Friends,

Yesterday we shared that our fall retreats are currently being slated and planned and today we’d like to tell you about the first retreat of fall. The couple selected is amazing; we already love them and know you will too. The location is gorgeous, and we’re super excited about this retreat.

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Brandon Bunch contacted CKFF to let us know how much he loved his wife Nicole and how much he wanted to go on a Revitalization Retreat. Brandon is a former Marine with multiple deployments to Iraq who became a firefighter/paramedic with the Austin, TX fire department after he left the Marines. He and his wife, Nicole, are parents of five beautiful children—one of whom they lost at birth. Brandon wrote of the challenges he and Nicole have faced with his service in the Marines and then as a First Responder on the home front—and of how that was compounded exponentially with the loss of their child. Brandon shared that he and Nicole were not able to have a honeymoon due to his service obligations and how much he loved Nicole and wanted to give her something special. Our selection committee wanted that too—and once Brandon and Nicole were selected, we set up a phone call to share the good news.

Several of our partners and sponsors were on that phone call, including Chan Cox. A successful entrepreneur and staunch patriot, Chan is also a committed philanthropist so we were thrilled when he contacted us about supporting a retreat in Destin.

Known for its sugar white sands and turquoise water, Destin’s Emerald Coast is a perfect retreat location for Brandon and Nicole; however, a beautiful location needs great accommodations so our retreat sponsor, Chan Cox, recruited friends and partners from Resort Quest, a premier accommodations provider who rolled out the red carpet with gulf-front luxury accommodations. We can’t share everything now about this special retreat, as some things have to remain a surprise for Brandon and Nicole, but we will follow-up on Facebook once they’ve had a chance to return home.

Destin BeachWe’re grateful for the friendship of so many partners and vendors in this special community that is home to some incredible beaches, as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, Tyndall Air Force Base, and the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group. A very special thanks to Brandon’s Mama for watching the kids at home—we’re sending a “Fun Fund” voucher so that the kids and Mama can have a little fun of their own.

Here’s what we know: Brandon and Nicole absolutely deserve this time away and we hope that this weekend is a blessing for them and their family. And we know that you feel the same.

Our team is working to keep these updates coming throughout the rest of 2015. We hope you’ll stay tuned.

With Gratitude,

The CKFF Team