About

Vets Helping Heroes was founded by Irwin Stovroff, a highly-decorated WWII veteran and liberated-POW who spent 13 months in Nazi “Stalag Luft I” Prisoner-of-War camp after being shot down on his 35th combat mission as a Bombardier with the 44th Bomb Group. He discarded his dog tags before his capture to hide the fact that he was Jewish. He thought all was lost when he was recognized by a Nazi interrogator. Irwin had been his family’s newspaper boy in Buffalo, NY. The interrogator told Irwin that he wanted to help him and he put a "?" on Irwin’s records next to religion, effectively saving his life.

Determined to pay it forward, after retiring from a long career in sales, Irwin volunteered at the West Palm Beach, Florida VA Hospital. In 2007 he learned that there was no money in the VA budget to provide service dogs of any kind as a form of treatment. At that time, even Guide Dogs for the visually impaired, could only be provided from private donations. Despite his own PTSD and other personal challenges, Irwin worked feverishly to found Vets Helping Heroes, a non-profit charity, formed in 2007, dedicated to providing service dogs for active duty military and retired Veterans recovering from the physical and psychological challenges they suffered as a result of their service to our country.

Vets Helping Heroes has a versatile and active board of directors comprised of high-ranking retired military officers, and business professional in the fields of Law, Computers, Healthcare, Non-profit, Film Production, Sales and more. This dynamic team enables us the best opportunity to achieve our goal. In addition, many of our retired military board members have first-hand knowledge and experience of the plight of the interned and injured that we seek to help.

irwin deceased

Irwin J. Stovroff   (Deceased)
2nd Lt. ,U.S. Air Force Retired - Ex-POW WWII
1922  -  2018
Founder Emeritus

Officers

Chairman of the Board
Don Werner
Retired President, CEO and Chairman at Werner Co.

President
Melvin Pollack
Lt.Col., U.S. Air Force, Retired, (Ex-POW Vietnam)

Vice-President
Sam Bierstock, MD, BSEE
Healthcare Strategist, Veteran’s Advocate and Author “Before You Go” Tribute to our Veterans

Secretary/Treasurer
Paul Barreto
Capt., U.S. Navy (Naval Aviator), Retired

Chairman, Advisory Board
John Van Blois, Ph.D.
Maj. Gen., U.S. Air Force, Retired

Directors

Louis Molina
Filmmaker/U.S. Network News Contractor, Retired

Charlie Morecraft
World-Renowned Motivational Safety Speaker
Owner – Phoenix Safety Management Company

Robert "Bob" Engelman
Capt. U.S. Air Force (Veteran), Commercial Airline Captain, Retired

Jean-Pierre “JP” Paviot
CEO, Owner & Founder of D-Day Memory Tour – Historical Travel in Normandy

Executive Staff

Executive Administrator
Lisa A. Fendrich

Benefactors

Major Donations Received From:

ANONYMOUS
San Rafael, California

SCHMIDT FAMILY FOUNDATION
Boca Raton, Florida

THE RETIREMENT RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Chicago, Illinois

ESTATE OF GROVER THOMAS ALLEN
New Zealand

MARY ALICE FORTIN FOUNDATION
Palm Beach, Florida

LEO J. SIGNAIGO CHARITABLE TRUST
Welch, West Virginia

THE MILNER FAMILY FUND
Sidney, Nebraska

McS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
Paradise Valley, Arizona

THOMASES FAMILY FOUNDATION
Youngstown, Ohio

BURNS FAMILY FOUNDATION
Redwood City, California

THE CLIFTON B. & ANNE STUART BATCHELDER FOUNDATION
Omaha, Nebraska

THE SHIPLEY FOUNDATION
Boston, Massachusetts

COOPERMAN FAMILY FOUNDATION
Boca Raton, Florida

BETSY RINEHART and BRUCE LEEDS
Boca Raton, Florida

REUBEN H. FLEET FOUNDATION
San Diego, California

PANGEA FOUNDATION
Delray Beach, Florida

THOMAS AND SUSAN STAUDT
Vinyard Haven, Massachusetts

WILLIAM DONNER FOUNDATION
Tarrytown, New York

MARY E. PARKER FOUNDATION
Bradenton, FL

TRUST FOR EDWARD SPECIALE
New York, New York

FIDELITY CHARITABLE
Cincinnati, Ohio

SCHWAB CHARITABLE FUND
San Francisco, California

We are grateful for every donation -- no matter the size.

HELP US HELP THEM

All donations are tax deductible and you will be emailed your tax receipt.