Oliver North helps raise $20,000 for Las Cruces' Mesilla Valley Christian Schools

by Las Cruces Sun-News
LAS CRUCES -- Oliver North talked about his heroes Thursday.

In the end, he and former New Mexico governor Garrey Carruthers turned out to be heroes themselves. They quickly raised $20,000 that will go toward $12 million needed to build a new Mesilla Valley Christian Schools.



North followed up on a $10,000 dollar-for-dollar pledge Carruthers made during a special fundraising dinner where he was the keynote speaker. At the beginning of the event, at the Las Cruces Convention Center, Carruthers said he would donate $10,000 toward the school's capital campaign if it could be matched.



At the end of his approximately 40-minute presentation, North offered $1,000 of his money and then commitments from 25 others of $500 each to quickly raise $20,000 for a new MVCS.



"Here you go," said North, presenting Ivan Stubbs, MVCS superintendent, with a $1,000 check after he got people in the audience to match his $1,000 with $500 of their own. "The importance of this goes well beyond this room because it (MVCS) touches at the heart of America."



North said his heroes are U.S. military personnel who developed their strong senses of loyalty, honor and courage for the U.S. while attending Christian schools.



"Heroes come from backgrounds like Mesilla Valley Christian School," North said. "My heroes don't wear spandex (as Superman did). They wear camouflage, boots and flak jackets. I get inspired every chance I get to spend time with them."



North is a combat-decorated



Marine, who was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star. After his military career, he served as a member of the National Security Council, and was instrumental in planning the rescues of Americans held captive in Grenada in 1983.



Since retiring from public service, North has become a best-selling author, small business founder, inventor with multiple U.S. patents, columnist, and the host of the award-winning documentary series "War Stories" on the Fox News Channel.



Another hero of Thursday's fundraiser is Las Crucen Gary Coppedge, president of the Board of Directors of Western Heritage Bank. The bank's $30,000 donation to stage the dinner helped pave the way for North's appearance in Las Cruces.



"We chose to support Mesilla Valley Christian School because we believe in the principles of the school," Coppedge said.



Steve Ramirez can be reached at (575) 541-5452; follow him on Twitter @SteveRamirez6.



For Mesilla Valley Christian Schools:



-- Former U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North spoke at a fundraising dinner Thursday for Mesilla Valley Christian Schools.



-- The fundraiser was to help raise money so MVCS can build a new school.



-- Western Heritage Bank donated $30,000 to help bring North to Las Cruces.



-- A $12 million capital campaign is underway to build a new MVCS on 25 acres off of Stern Drive.



ONLINE EXTRAS:



Mesilla Valley Christian Schools website: www.sonblazer.net/mvcs/



Oliver North website: http://olivernorth.com/



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(c)2012 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)



Visit the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.) at www.lcsun-news.com



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