By Richard Rhinehart
Martinsburg, WV, April 2, 2014 – A team of injured veterans are joining together at a Martinsburg Chic-fil-A restaurant for an April 12 Spirit Night fund raiser to benefit national non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports.
Participants at the non-profit’s April 25-27 Face of America bicycle and hand cycle ride from the Pentagon to historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the military veterans will meet and greet local Martinsburg residents at the restaurant during a three hour event.
“Each rider has a story they can share about the Face of America ride,” said the fund raiser’s director, retired Army Sergeant Glenn Goulet. The Face of America is a two-day, 110-mile ride honoring America’s veterans, including those who were injured during their service. At this year’s ride, more than 150 injured veterans will participate, pedaling alongside 400 civilian, active-duty and retired military riders. It is one of the Washington region’s largest non-competitive bicycle rides, with participants from across the country and Canada.
Joining Goulet at the Chick-fil-A event will be veterans Paul Wolf, Bill Czyzewski, and Stephen Miller, all of West Virginia. Each is an annual participant of the Face of America ride.
“I am honored to help raise funds for World T.E.A.M. Sports, because this is where I got my start on long distance riding,” said Goulet. A participant with Czyzewski for the organization’s 2012 Sea to Shining Sea cross-country ride from San Francisco to Virginia Beach, Virginia, Goulet notes that riding his bicycle as a part of a larger team has been beneficial to his health. “Knowing that I am not alone with my injuries helps inspire me to push myself harder and is a great way to deal with my PTSD, too.”
Medically discharged and returning home to West Virginia after 7-1/2 years of service, Goulet discovered he was unable to afford the cost of his ongoing 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.
“I have never competed with an organization where all staff and board members took the time to get to know you like World T.E.A.M. Sports,” said Goulet. “Raising funds for events like Face of America helps another disabled veteran learn to enjoy life a little better and be a part of a support network that continues on past these events.”
For this month’s Face of America ride, Goulet is riding as a member of Team Strength and Honor, one of the event’s major participatory teams. “Charles Gray, the team Captain, was happy to hear that I wanted to join his team,” Goulet recalled. “It takes a lot of inner strength to compete in rides such as the Face of America. Honor is when you help your team mates and others complete the daily routes” of the ride.
Chick-fil-A will provide 20 percent of all food sales as a contribution to the non-profit organization if the purchaser mentions World T.E.A.M. Sports while placing their order at the 1005 Foxcroft Avenue restaurant. The 5 to 8 p.m. 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.
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. Since 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized 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.