Michael Kaminski – Albemarle Country Resident 

Tell us about your volunteer activities.
My primary volunteer activity is President of The Family Fund, an organization we created to make the lives of military –past and present—and their families better.   Our signature event is the annual “Freedom 5k” run, which takes place on the second Saturday of December.  The race proceeds go to military support organizations such as the local Blue Star Families Chapter and Charlottesville’s own ParadeRest Virginia.  In addition, some of the funds we raise are delivered to national scholarship organizations that fund higher-education opportunities for children of the fallen or severely wounded.

What inspires you to volunteer?
I feel so grateful for the service and selflessness of the American soldier. Freedom is the cornerstone of all our lives.  I try not to take our freedom for granted, and remain mindful of the sacrifices made by our soldiers and veterans. The Freedom 5K is my thank you, my expression of gratitude to that very special 1% of our population that keep us all free and safe.

If your volunteer work could make one long-lasting change, what would you want it to be?
I would love if the work we did helped soldiers and their families, in our community, feel appreciated and less isolated–more connected.  I would love for Charlottesville to have the reputation of a “military friendly town.”

What is a little-known fact about you?
Some may remember me as “Mike-in-the-Morning.” In the Netherlands, in the late 1980’s, I was serving in the United States Air Force and I hosted a morning radio show on the Armed Forces Radio Network.

What brought you to Charlottesville/Albemarle County? 
After graduating from James Madison University, I wanted to get away from the smell of Harrisonburg’s chicken factories, but still wanted to remain in the beautiful Central Virginia area. I wanted a big-small-college town…with easy major city access.  I love being only an hour away from the state capitol, two hour drive from the nation’s capitol, and a short flight to the capitol of the world—NYC! I thought this would be a fantastic place to start a family, raise children—and I was right!