VCS Note: We strongly encourage our members and supporters in Florida to attend this wonderful event ~ Paul Sullivan
March 13, 2008 – The Florida Veterans for Common Sense (FVCS) have organized a walkathon to benefit wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan on Siesta Key Beach on March 30.
All funds raised by the walkathon will go to the Haley House Fund, which was created in 2004 to provide facilities for the visiting loved ones of veterans being treated by the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.
The hospital receives more seriously injured veterans, with staff specializing in the treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries. Since patients often need several months of treatment, their families are left to handle the cost of hotels and living expenses during their recovery.
The Haley House in Brandon helps the friends and families of patients who live more than 50 miles from the Haley House and qualify for aid based upon income with living arrangements as well as the recently completed “Comfort Center,” complete with full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a TV and game area. Volunteers at Haley House have found a marked difference in a patient’s recovery with the presence of their loved ones, providing them with the necessary support system to significantly cut down on their recovery time.
As Harry Stimmel, FVCS board member and co-creator of the walkathon said, “If the parents live in Oklahoma, and they don’t have much money, we’re providing them with some kind of facility so they can visit the veteran … it can make all the difference.”
As a display of their faith in the Haley House Fund and the support that it provides to veterans and their families, each member donates the cost of a room to Haley House on his own birthday every year.
All of the local members of the Florida Veterans for Common Sense plan to participate in the walk, as well as many of the Haley House staff.
To participate in the walk, make a per-mile pledge or to make a direct donation, contact retired Air Force Lt. Col. Len Gumley, FVCS board member, at 927-0777, or mail it to him at 5408 Eagles Point Circle, Sarasota, FL 34231.