Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes (VBFH) is a group of grateful local residents and business leaders from Virginia Beach and the surrounding community.  Its members have come together over the years to dedicate their time and efforts coordinating two major fundraising events, The Charity Golf Tournament every May and FREEDOMFEST every September. The proceeds from these events go to organizations that benefit our Navy SEALS and their families, support staff and local police and rescue squads.

Jim Denning
President of the VBFH Board of Directors

Jim Denning was born in Patuxent River MD to USN Capt. Bill and Irene Denning (RET). After being stationed in Virginia Beach for 12 years, their family was transferred to Key West where his father took over Naval Operation as Commanding Officer of NAS Key West.  After school, Jim moved back to Virginia Beach to continue his education. He currently works for the Port Of Virginia as an Operations Manager at NIT.


Jim is a Founding Board Member of the Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes which he and other board members established to build support for the local Naval Special Warfare Group and Seal Team Families. He is responsible for the acquiring alcohol sponsors and products, beer trucks, and setting up the bars to be manned by local restaurants who support the SEAL Team community.


When there’s down time he enjoys surfing with his friends or spending time and being talked into buying things with his 13-year-old daughter Ainsleigh.

Linda Stephens

Linda is originally from Massachusetts and grew up on Cape Cod. She moved to Virginia Beach in 2002.


Linda is a Small Business Banker and Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo Bank in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. She brings decades of experience in financial services, management, small business ownership, fundraising and volunteerism.


Linda is currently the Treasurer of Virginia Beach Fallen Heroes (VBFH) and has been a member of the Board of Directors for several years. She brings extensive fundraising experience from many other boards and committees that she has served on within her community. Linda spends over 150+ volunteer hours per year dedicated to those charities closest to her heart.  VBFH, Maci’s Ride for Autism and The Pink Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness; where she also serves as their Treasurer.


Linda is an avid reader, loves to travel and when she’s not working at Wells Fargo or volunteering, you can find her supporting local businesses enjoying great food and drinks while spending time with her friends.

Byron Madden
Director of Operations

Byron grew up in a military family and knows firsthand the sacrifices of service members and their families.  When people learned his father was a Marine, Byron was often asked where they had been stationed.  Having tired of running through the numerous countries, states, cities and schools, he finally came up with an easy answer…”Camp You Name It”.

As with other Board Members, Byron became involved with the VBFH after the tragedy of August 6, 2011.  After the first event, Byron found the response of active duty and retired military personnel to be unreal. “I remember someone coming up to me thanking me and telling me how much it meant to know that there were civilians out there who cared.” Right then, he knew VBFH was the place for him.  Byron is in charge of the operations of our events and does an incredible job coordinating between numerous vendors as well as taking on the tedious task of complete set up and breakdown of everything required to make our events a huge success.

Byron Madden
Charity Madden

A true native of Va. Beach, Virginia, Charity fell in love with the restaurant/ bar business while working her way through college. She earned a B.A. from Old Dominion University in Secondary Education but could not stray from her true passion. She became the owner of South Beach Grill in 2006, after bartending there for 12 years. She prides herself in her friendly staff and the best live entertainment. Charity is responsible for booking and scheduling all entertainment for VBFH events. She has organized and participated in several fundraisers throughout the years to help those in need. She is inspired by our military, who give selflessly to help others and fight to defend this nation’s freedom. Charity believes in “paying it forward” and she is proud to be an American!

Charity Madden | VBFH
Caron Sanson
Caron Sanson

Caron is an original Board member. She was raised in a Navy family in this military community and feels a powerful connection to the military and helping service members. In August 2011, Caron jumped into the VBFH with both feet to design and print promotional and event signage for the initial fundraising event that was held in September 2011.

Caron brings with her a lot of fundraising experience. She has computer graphic and printing experience, and started her own banner/flag printing company, “Let it Fly Banners & Stuff”, in 2019.