Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC
Jingle Jog supports wheelchair Veterans
Philadelphia VA Medical Center staff and Veterans gathered on Saturday, Dec. 18, to run, walk and roll for charity. The 7km Jingle Jog raised funds to help send local Veterans to the 2011 National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Pittsburgh.
The event was part of the larger Combined Federal Campaign, the annual, official workplace charity for federal workers. Each fall, the CFC lets employees donate to the charity of their choice in an efficient, transparent manner – from a list of thousands of local, regional, national, and international charities. Funds raised during Jingle Jog are earmarked for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Recreation Heritage Fund, which in turn supports Veteran attendance at the wheelchair games.
“The Jingle Jog accomplishes several things,” said Andy Scheller, the medical center’s CFC co-chair. “We want to send our local Veteran athletes to the games, we want to celebrate our success in this year’s campaign, and we want to have some fun.”
The run/walk/roll took on a patriotic and holiday theme. Although the sun was out, the temperature hovered near freezing. Organizers had snacks and drinks – hot and cold – for participants.
“The cause is easily worth a little bit of cold,” Scheller added.
The VA Medical Center has already exceeded its $130,000 CFC goal for 2010, which represents a 6-percent increase over last year and a 69-percent growth over the past five years. In addition to making their payroll pledges, employees have enjoyed bake sales, hoagie sales and a popular holiday auction.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be held Aug. 1-6, 2011, in Pittsburgh. The games are billed as the largest annual wheelchair sports competition in the world, offering 17 sports to Veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, amputations and neurological diseases. The Games promote rehabilitation through rigorous competition in such events as basketball, rugby, softball, and hand-cycling. More information is available at http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/wcg/index.asp.