By Richard Rhinehart
Martinsburg, WV May 15, 2013 – Critically injured in Panama during his service to his country, retired Army Sergeant Glenn Goulet rode his bicycle across North America in 2012 as a member of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Sea to Shining Sea team of injured veterans. This May 22, the veteran will give back to the non-profit by hosting a Chick-fil-A fundraiser.
Held at the national quick-service chicken sandwich chain’s Martinsburg restaurant, Chick-fil-A will provide 20 percent of all food sales to the organization if the purchaser mentions World T.E.A.M. Sports while placing their order. The 5 to 8 p.m. Spirit Night promotion could provide hundreds of dollars of support to the Holbrook, New York-based national organization, which creates inclusive sporting events that bring together disabled and able-bodied participants.
“World T.E.A.M. Sports applauds the tenacity of veterans such as Glenn. They have chosen to face life head on and overcome any obstacles that are thrown at them,” said Van Brinson, the non-profit’s Chief Operations Officer. “We also appreciate the support of organizations such as Chick-fil-A. Without this continued support we would be unable to continue our mission of Changing Lives Through Sports.”
Medically discharged and returning home to West Virginia after 7-1/2 years of service, Goulet discovered he could no longer afford the cost of his rehabilitation. Active in sports until he injured his back during active duty, Goulet found he was unable to run and jump. But, he could still ride his bicycle.
Learning about World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual Face of America ride from Arlington to Gettysburg, Goulet signed up. “I was treated well by their staff upon arriving for my check in,” Goulet recalled. During the 2012 110-mile ride, Goulet spent time talking with Brinson. Seeking additional veterans for the Sea to Shining Sea ride, Brinson invited Goulet to join the team that would ride more than 3,600 miles in two months. A few weeks later, Goulet was en route to the west coast.
“When I arrived at my local airport and informed the check in agent of what I was about to do, she was amazed at my courage to take on this challenge,” Goulet said. “When I arrived in San Francisco, I was greeted by the American Airlines publicity agent and was treated like a rock star and welcomed home. This was the first of many welcome home greetings on this ride across America. Many tears were shed, because I never thought I would be able to compete in any sport again, due to my injuries.”
Putting on a fundraiser to benefit the national organization makes sense to the veteran. “I am honored to be able to help raise funds for an organization that helps disabled veterans compete in sporting events at no cost,” Goulet said. “Being able to see the country that we have defended is a great blessing. Being able to meet other disabled veterans and share stories and encourage one another was a great way to help me deal with my PTSD.”
A participant of this April’s Face of America ride, Goulet is eager to share his stories with other veterans. “Helping veterans and being able to share what World T.E.A.M. Sports can do for them is a blessing.”
Chick-fil-A is the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States, with over 1,700 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C. In 2012, annual sales were over $4.6 billion. Chick-fil-A is still privately held and family owned. Over the past three years, Chick-fil-A, Inc. and its franchised Restaurant Operators have given more than $68 million in contributions to over 700 educational and charitable organizations and have provided millions of dollars in food donations all across America.
About World T.E.A.M. Sports
World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York. Celebrating 20 years in 2013, World T.E.A.M. Sports organizes athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens – mountain climbing, white water rafting, bicycling, and more. In all our events we include both disabled and able-bodied participants with all participants working as a team to overcome challenges. Our events encourage disabled participants to build self-confidence and physical fitness while providing a role model for other disabled citizens. World T.E.A.M. Sports events also encourage the disabled to take up physical activities and become a moving inspiration to other participants, as well as spectators who see that the disabled can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination. We change lives through sports.
Richard Rhinehart serves as Director of Communications for World T.E.A.M. Sports.