By Norb Garrett
The Kabul airport bombing that killed 13 servicemen and servicewomen during the U.S. withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan in late August spurred Mark Zane into action.
Zane, the owner of private golf club Bella Collina San Clemente, said he felt moved by the deaths of the 13 soldiers, 10 of whom were stationed at Camp Pendleton, and the outpouring of emotion shown by the San Clemente community.
Determined to do something to help, Zane has since launched a new nonprofit organization called San Clemente Proud in an effort to raise $500,000 by Dec. 1 for the families of the 10 local fallen soldiers and 18 wounded.
“I just wanted to do something to help and do some good,” said Zane, who knows first-hand the horrors of war after witnessing his son’s best friend, a medic, return from Iraq “in pieces” after serving his nation.
That memory, coupled with the recent events in Afghanistan and impacts felt here in San Clemente, motivated him.
“You do what you can do,” he said, noting that over the years, he and his staff at Bella Collina have hosted hundreds of events supporting the military.
“I’m hoping we can inspire the local community and other businesses to get involved, too,” Zane said.
To find out more about the nonprofit and Zane’s efforts to raise funds for the families, visit sanclementeproud.com.