Members of the Leesburg Moose Club lost a beloved member with the death of “Fast Eddie” Gillis in August , but they turned that sorrow into a community benefit.
On Friday, the lodge presented the Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness with a donation of $10,000. The money was raised during the club’s inaugural Fast Eddie Memorial Poker Run.
Gillis was a tennis pro turned businessman. He operated eight Fast Eddie pool halls in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida before going broke and moving to Leesburg to be close to his two brothers. He joined the Leesburg Moose Lodge and quickly made many friends with his warmth and generosity. “He was extremely intelligent and well versed in all the events going on in our country at all times. He often commented on this last stage of his life being the most contented times of his life,” said Al Erickson, one of the event organizers.
The donations were raised through shirt sales, donations and auctions.
Located in Bluemont, Boulder Crest Retreat is the nation’s first privately funded rural wellness center dedicated to serving combat veterans and their families. The center works to improve physical, emotional, spiritual and economic wellbeing while helping them succeed in their new phase of life. Learn more at bouldercrestretreat.org.