LEADING WITH THEIR HEARTS
MOONLIGHT FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“My mission is to let fellow burn survivors know they are not alone. I want to offer a hug, a smile, and a heart that cares. It is crucial to educate the public about the needs of burn survivors and their families as well as the lack of services available to them. We are here to care for burn survivors, their families and those who have lost a loved one to a burn injury.”
Celia Belt is the founder of the award winning, Moonlight Fund Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial, emotional and in-kind assistance to burn and blast survivors and their families. A burn survivor herself, Celia noticed the need for care and support for burn survivors throughout the country, and, along with Henry Coffeen III, she started the charity in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, the organization has helped nearly 12,000 people across the U.S.
Celia oversees grant writing, program development, event planning and fundraising for The Moonlight Fund. Additionally, she works hand-in-hand with staff members, attends monthly board meetings and coordinates activities and meetings involving partners and sponsors. Celia also provides support to burn survivors and their families by visiting them at the hospital, hosting support groups and by providing them with information, and access to funding. She also organizes and executes award-winning healing retreats for burn survivors and her families. Celia has been providing her services pro-bono for the past 21 years.
Before starting The Moonlight Fund, Celia spent 8 years in commercial and residential real estate. She received many awards in this field, including top producer, top agent and rookie of the year. Celia also spent 7 years as a national sales manager for food manufacturer VanHoltens where she successfully led a team of 280 food brokers nationwide. Celia was hands on in the development of marketing, branding, sales and new product introduction. During her time at the company she increased distribution from 7 to 31 states.
Celia has serves as a public speaker for the Moonlight Fund and other organizations. In 2012, she was invited to speak at the Pentagon on behalf of the Moonlight Fund, when the charity was named the top non-profit in the country and given the Fisher House/Newman’s Own Award for improving the quality of life of military members and their families. Her audience included key military members like General Martin E. Demsey and Admiral Winnefeld. Celia continues to speak on several topics, on behalf of the needs of burn survivors, non-profit management, overcoming childhood trauma and women’s empowerment.
Celia and the Moonlight Fund have received numerous awards. In addition to the Moonlight Fund being named the top non profit in the country, Celia was awarded the business journals- Woman in Leadership Award and was chosen as a mentor, three years running for the Business Journals, Mentoring Monday. Most recently, Celia was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Medal by the Daughters of the American Revolution. (DAR) She also sits on several committees at the American Burn Association.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, and now a Bandera, Texas resident, Celia has published various articles in prominent publications including San Diego Magazine, San Antonio Medical Magazine, Dallas Safari Club, The New York Times and others, her book, Remarkably Intact, launched in 2018 and has received multiple outstanding reviews and been nominated for several awards. All proceeds benefit the Moonlight Fund. Celia is a member of the Phoenix Society, American Burn Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, Association of Fundraising Professionals and the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the Aftercare Reintegration Committee at the American Burn Association.
When Celia is not caring for burn survivors or writing grants, she enjoys spending time with her three children Justin, Jarred and Hillary and her grandson, Korben. She has been an equestrian for many years, and although retired from competing, she still enjoys riding on her ranch. Celia also enjoys the outdoors, fishing, hunting and working on the land.
Gary Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio and grew up in a large family whose roots extend back to the original Canary Islander settlers of the area. He developed a curiosity for Texas history that still is with him today.
His career in the advertising business includes working for some of the largest advertising agencies in the area. This experience led him to start The Sylvan Company, a small graphic design and marketing company.
Mr. Rodriguez has been involved with The Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation, named for his deceased brother to fund cancer research at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center- UT Health Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Gary was introduced to Moonlight Fund in 2011 and developed a keen interest in helping the Fund continue to help burn victim survivors and their families.
When not working, you will find Gary wade fishing the Texas coast, kayaking and fly fishing the Guadalupe River or enjoying one of San Antonio’s many events and festivals.
Ceanna is a mother of three wonderful children and the wife of Jacobo, a medically retired Marine, who suffered extensive burn injuries during a tanker training accident on the 29 Palms, CA Marine base in 2008.
On June 19, 2008, Jacobo was taking part in a live fire training exercise when a 120mm tank round exploded inside his tank, setting the tank on fire and trapping him inside. He sustained second and third degree burns on over 50% of his body, requiring years of excruciating physical therapy and over 50 surgeries. Jacobo made what many would call a miraculous recovery and was medically retired in 2011.
Ceanna was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but with a mother in the military, she grew up all over America.
She graduated from San Antonio College in 2017 with an associate degree in business administration and is currently a Texas A&M University-SA junior, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Accounting.
She loves baking, crafting, and home schooling her children.
Bethany Coomes spent 4 years serving in the U.S. Army as a Mental Health Specialist. She met her husband Clayton while station at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. Clayton served as a Burn Unit nurse at Brook Army Medical Center from 2005 to 2010.
In May 2016, their daughter, Stella was critically burned in a home accident and treated at University Hospital, San Antonio, Texas.
Her family was contacted by Moonlight Fund who offered support and since that time, her family has been attending retreats and other events and programs sponsored through Moonlight Fund.
Bethany has been involved with Moonlight Fund for the last two and a half years doing volunteer work and helping with the many of the Moonlight Fund events.
She and her family live in Cibolo, Texas where she is a stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family and helping the many needs of Moonlight Fund survivors.
HENRY COFEEN III
Henry Coffeen III was raised in Oklahoma City and grew up in the car business. His grandfather was an Oklahoma car dealer and his father worked in sales. However, by the time Coffeen graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, his grandfather had passed away and his family had gotten out of the business. The 80’s real estate scene was booming, so upon graduation Coffeen took a job with a real estate company – a company that promptly bounced his first check. Coffeen says he was broke and in trouble. He stared cleaning apartments to stay afloat. After learning of Coffeen’s bad luck, his best friend’s father and the owner of a Cadillac dealership in Plano, Texas, offered Coffeen a job at his dealership. This launched Coffeen’s career path into the automotive world. Starting out in used car sales, Coffeen quickly moved through the dealership ranks, eventually becoming the sales manager at his boss’s Hyundai dealership.
Henry Coffeen has not slowed down. Recently, he purchased a Yamaha Dealership. In 2008, he was given a Texas Honda Dealership through American Honda. He built it into a 70,000 square foot, state of the art facility, and was a Gold LEED Certified Dealer, before selling it to his partner in 2013.
What Coffeen says he dislikes most about the industry today is the perception many hold that the auto industry is a shady business to be in. “Run properly, it is a great business. I was lucky enough to be partnered with the only dealership in America to ever win the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award, so I got to go through all their training programs and understand, from a business perspective, what it means to do things right. I learned how to run a dealership differently – to do things the right way.”
After ten years of flying airshows professionally, Coffeen was in a serious plane wreck. In 1998, he parachuted from his airplane as it blew up inflight during an airshow practice. He suffered from 3rd degree burns on a third of his body. As if his accident were not enough bad luck, only a month before the crash, Coffeen’s house was completely destroyed when the hundred-year flood of the Guadalupe River filled his home with 16 feet of water. “It was a rough time between losing everything to the flood and then my extended recovery from the plane accident,” says Coffeen, “I had some great dealers who stuck by me at that time.”
Fast forward to 2015 – life is good and business is booming. Today, Coffeen’s free time centers around his two kids – a 14-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. They live on a Texas ranch in the Fort Worth area. The ranch is a cutting horse ranch where they do breeding and training. Cutting horses are agile saddle horses trained to separate individual animals from a cattle herd. Coffeen and his family are also regular boaters and water-skiers. “My kids grew up water skiing and they are now both ski instructors in the summer at water skiing camp.”
“We all have to be a student of the business,” says Coffeen, “If you aren’t constantly monitoring what’s going on in our industry and staying on top of it, it’s going to pass you by. With technology advancing at a crazy speed, things are happening fast right now. You have to be really focused on what’s gong on and what’s there to help so you can funnel it into something that’s going to make money.
Hillary is the daughter of a burn survivor and spent much of her young life volunteering at Moonlight Fund events. In 2010 she joined Moonlight Fund as their Grants Manager and went on to become the funds Development Director from 2012-2017. She currently works as a design assistant at Catrina’s Interiors although she continues her volunteer work for the Moonlight Fund. Hillary has a natural born passion for the needs of burn survivors and their families.
Sandy is a results driven, highly motivated and seasoned marketing professional with experience delivering innovative solutions to various ad, sports and entertainment brands. She’s a respected manager with commitment to people, team development and a strategic vision to engage consumers and drive revenue growth.
Sandy is currently obtaining a second Masters degree at the University of Texas Health and Science Center -SA in occupational therapy to merge her professional background and experience as a burn survivor into a rewarding career benefiting the burn community.
DEBORAH ORTIZ DE LA PENA
Deborah has close to a decade of experience in Advertising, Media and Public Relations. During her career, she has worked in several Texas cities, New York City, and the Washington, D.C., metro area. A native of Mexico City, Deborah has a passion for languages and culture. She is a certified professional translator in Spanish and English and she is also fluent in German and conversant in French. Deborah is the owner of DOH Marketing and Bilingual Communications; a communications consulting firm in San Antonio, Texas that offers media, public relations, writing and Spanish-English translations services.
Additionally, Deborah works as a public relations consultant for Pennino and Partners, an agency that specializes in media relations and publicity, writing, business development, issues and crisis communications, internal communications and industry relations.
During her career, Deborah has worked for some of the top advertising and media firms in the country including Wieden + Kennedy, the second largest private advertising agency in the world and GateHouse media, one of the nation’s most prominent newspaper conglomerates.
When she is not working, Deborah enjoys spending time with her husband and two-year-old son. She also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, writing and cooking new dishes to share with friends and family over a good bottle of wine.
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LEIGH ANN KENNEY
about Leigh Ann
Leigh Ann has been involved with the Moonlight Fund for two years and volunteering with the Fund for the last year. It was when her husband, Scott, was burned in was severely burned in a house explosion in February of 2015 she became involved with the Fund. Scott spent seven weeks at SAMMC, two weeks in rehab, plus countless months of physical therapy. The explosion changed the road she and her family were traveling. The “Burn” changes everything and can leave you and your family feeling alone and isolated. Very few people understand the emotional and financial burden. The Moonlight Fund changed that for us. It is through Moonlight Fund; lifelong friendships were made and support was received by those who have shared experiences can only give. It was because of what the Fund did for my family and I that I want to help continue the legacy of services and support Moonlight Fund has to offer to those burn survivors and their families who feel alone and isolated.
Leigh Ann grew up in Scotland, Singapore, and landed in Texas full-time in 1984. As a mother of three (Collin, Dylan, and Miranda) and a wife of twenty-two years, spends her time at lacrosse and football with her son Dylan, at the barn watching her daughter, Miranda, live out her passion riding horses, and volunteering in Dylan and Collin’s Boy Scout Troop. If you cannot find her with her family, chances are you will find her at Oaks Academy in Boerne teaching high risk youth or online teaching English to Chinese students with VIPKID.