Tory Boegeman given Golden Deeds Award for helping veterans

Tory Boegeman holds her husband John's hand after being surprised with the Golden Deeds Award from the National Exchange Club of Orange County on Thursday at San Clemente Municipal Golf Club. Photo: Eric Heinz
Tory Boegeman holds her husband John’s hand after being surprised with the Golden Deeds Award from the National Exchange Club of Orange County on Thursday at San Clemente Municipal Golf Club. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Eric Heinz

Tory Boegeman was surprised Thursday at San Clemente Municipal Golf Club with the Golden Deeds Award from the National Exchange Club of San Clemente.

The award is given to recognize people who aren’t looking for recognition but the satisfaction of helping others, Exchange Club officials said.

The board of directors vote on the award at a meeting to select the recipient.

Chad Schiel, a member of the San Clemente Exchange Club, said Boegeman has most recently been working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars 9934 Post in Dana Point, but she has provided donations she has made to veterans throughout Orange County, including Camp Pendleton.

“With the help of her husband, she has given great amounts of time to give back to young military veterans’ families as well as homeless veterans around Orange County,” Schiel said. “It is estimated that within the last 12 months, she has donated over 500 hand-knit baby blankets, booties and hats. She has also dropped off over 150 handmade blankets.”

Schiel also said she has been described by friends as a “knitting machine with a heart of gold.”

Tory Boegeman comes to the podium after being surprised with the Golden Deeds Award on Thursday for making hundreds of blankets for veterans the last three years. Photo: Eric Heinz
Tory Boegeman comes to the podium after being surprised with the Golden Deeds Award on Thursday for making hundreds of blankets for veterans the last three years. Photo: Eric Heinz

“Right now I’m at a loss for words, and for me that’s something,” Boegeman said during her acceptance speech. “I am just totally dumbfounded. What I do for those young people and those veterans is out of love for them. I have a middle room I call my ‘everything room,’ and I’ve got so much material there to knit with.”

Boegeman said she makes the blankets out of fleece and ties them together. A lot of her materials are sent to the homeless veterans center in Garden Grove or wherever they are needed. She also said she makes them for young people who are in need.

“I started doing it because I heard about the baby showers for the military families,” Boegeman said, “and then it just kind of grew and grew and I just absolutely love it. It gives me just such a wonderful feeling. My husband is a veteran.”

Boegeman and her husband, John, live in Mission Viejo. She does all the work by herself but does get some assistance from her husband and the VFW clubs.

She said she is starting to make tote bags for veterans who are wheelchair-bound.

“Sitting there, watching TV at night, why not make something while I’m doing that,” Boegeman said. “It’s something that I really love doing, and we need to support our veterans.”

Boegeman was also given a signed copy of former Lt. Col. Oliver North’s American Heroes: On the Home Front.

The Golden Deeds Awards recipients are entered in the Book of Golden Deeds, which has a nearly 100-year history starting with the first award in 1919. According to the National Exchange Club website, the award “recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live.”

More information on the award can be found at www.nationalexchangeclub.org.

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  • Need more men and women like this one with true compassionate hearts for our fellow military and our citizens for that matter! Thank you Tory—you are a sweetheart!

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