Gov. Rick Scott has often said he wants his administration to highlight the importance of the military. He repeated that goal and more Wednesday, formally donating $200,000 in leftover inauguration money to the Wounded Warrior Project, a not-for-profit, Florida-based aid effort for injured service members.
Scott said his inaugural team wanted "to do something good" with a slice of the nearly $3 million raised for his two-day celebration. He chose the Wounded Warrior Project because it impressed him during a visit to its Jacksonville headquarters last fall.
"I was in the Navy, but I was not even close to getting shot," Scott said before a small crowd at the governor's mansion. "My experience was totally different than what people are going through today."
The $200,000 check is a large one-time donation for the Wounded Warrior Project -- most individual donations range from $50 to $100, said Adam Silva, the group's chief development officer. Still, Wounded Warrior expects to raise about $55 million in cash this year.
Scott's donation will go toward programs that treat combat stress and assist families of severely wounded soldiers.
Scott thanked Brian Ballard, a prominent lobbyist who was served as the inauguration's finance chairman last month, for leading fundraising efforts over two months. Other attendees included Major General Emmett Titshaw Jr., Florida's adjutant general and head of the Florida National Guard, two former servicemen who suffered major injuries in Iraq, a few donors, and several uniformed members of the Florida National Guard.