Date: 1 August 2010
Contact: Caren Copening
Local Businessmen Launch a Series of Rings to Honor Paratroopers and Benefit Wounded Soldiers
When Steve Copening of West Palm Beach and Tom Sota of Pompano Beach
established their custom jewelry house, Premier Resources, they dreamed of a
company that would allow them to combine their years of jewelry experience with a wish
to support worthy causes. Today, Premier Resources has launched a new line of rings honoring paratroopers. A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the 82nd Airborne Division Association, to benefit wounded soldiers.
Copening, a decorated veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division, and Sota, a veteran of the
Navy, developed this special project as a means to "give back" to the U.S. military. Both
men attribute their success in business to opportunities created by the military's support
for their education. In developing their first in a series of jewelry that recognizes the
brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, they began with rings portraying the
U.S. Army Parachute Badge. "We hear the sad reports every day of men and women
who are injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, so Tom and I knew right away what our first
project ought to be. As a paratrooper during my years in the Army, I was very fortunate
not to be wounded. So many aren't as lucky as I was. I want to "pay it forward" by
doing something that can benefit those who come home injured, " says Copening.
The series of rings are embellished with a likeness of the U.S. Army Parachute badge.
Awarding three versions of the parachute badge, for the Basic Parachutist, the Senior
Parachutist, and the Master Parachutist are a time-honored tradition in the Army,
originating in World War II. Stars representing participation in combat jumps can also
be affixed to the badge and are available on the series of rings. "We think these
beautiful rings are a tremendous way for people to demonstrate their pride in serving
our country, and at the same time, offer some support for wounded warriors through the
82nd Airborne Division Association," comments Copening.
The 82nd Airborne Division Association, a not-for profit organization, sponsors social
and recreational opportunities for wounded warriors and their families, among other
activities. "Our 97 veteran chapters throughout the country and 7 active military
chapters located at Ft. Bragg are an ideal way for us to reach out to these soldiers to
offer them support as they cope with difficult circumstances," comments Santiago
Tijerina, Jr., Executive Director of the Association. "We are grateful to Steve and Tom
and Premier Resources for their commitment to this important work."
The 82nd Airborne Division Association is comprised of veterans who have served in
the 82nd Airborne Division; or are currently serving on active duty on jump status; or
have ever served in any of the uniformed services on either jump or glider status and
were honorably discharged, including troopers from Special Forces, Airborne Rangers,
Marine Corps Recon, Navy SEALS, and Air Force Special Tactics personnel.
Premier Resources is a custom jewelry manufacturer, specializing in bridal jewelry and
custom-made unique pieces. Both its principals, Steve Copening and Tom Sota, hold
professional certifications with the Gemological Institute of America. Premier
Resources is a member in good standing with the Jewelers Board of Trade. For more
information, contact Steve Copening at (954) 977-7067 or