Veteran Athletes Supported by Donuts of Hope
A long-standing tradition, steeped in honor of our nation’s warriors coincided today with the promotion of the efforts of Veteran Wheelchair athletes at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC.
As several Richmond area athletes demonstrated their prowess in hand cycling, slalom racing and basketball during the Wheelchair Games Sports Festival, promoting the upcoming 32nd National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Richmond, June 25-30, members of the Salvation Army offered donuts to visitors, veterans and staff.
Traditionally the first Friday in June is National Donut day, according to Jeff Baldwin, a Salvation Army of Central Virginia spokesperson. “Since the day fell coincidentally on the day of the Sports festival, we thought what better way to tell the men and women of our armed services they are not alone, than to join in the festivities here,” said Baldwin.
The Salvation Army has partnered with four major partners and another 35 contributors in a month-long donut campaign, culminating today, which recognizes the efforts of the Salvation Army “Lassies,” female members who cooked and served donuts to troops in the trenches during World War I. “They made donuts because they were among the easiest foods to prepare in that environment,” according to Salvation Army Capt. Ryan Brown. Brown said the Lassies used helmets, wine bottles and mortar shells to make the treats that were then delivered by the Lassies to men in their foxholes.
The tradition of National Donut Day began in Chicago in 1938. The Salvation Army team handed out 70 dozen donated donuts at the medical center. More than 600 Veteran Wheelchair athletes will compete in what has become the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. It is co-sponsored by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and VA. The week-long event features 18 different sporting events throughout the Richmond area.
All of the events are free and open to the public. A schedule of events is available on the Wheelchair Games web site at: http://www.richmond.va.gov/nvwg/index.asp, or through the PVA web site at: http://www.pva.org/site/c.ajIRK9NJLcJ2E/b.6305971/k.327F/Games_Registration_Information.htm.