The 2017 Ride & Walk For The Veterans is set to take place on April 22, 2017. Tony Deal and retired Colonel Joe Dickey created the event, which is now in its second year, to benefit the residents at the VA hospital in Oxford.
“We don’t give to the veteran’s hospital itself because that money gets into Jackson, and it’s separated out three ways; so the money we raise locally doesn’t go to the residents here in Oxford,” Deal said. “[This way], 100 percent of this money goes to the residents of the VA hospital here in Oxford.”
A retired veteran himself, Dickey visits his father, a WWII veteran, who resides in the veteran’s hospital frequently. After seeing the number of veterans who may not have the same support system, he knew he wanted to get involved.
“Me being here in Oxford, I can go visit my dad every day, but there are a lot of them who don’t have family close by. Without that family support, they’re often on their own, and we wanted to do something for them,” Dickey said.
Last year’s ride raised over $7,000, and after discussing what to use the money for with the residents, a karaoke machine was purchased along with two years worth of bingo prizes for the home. This year’s goal will once again attempt to bring joy and entertainment to the residents of the hospital.
“One of our main goals this year is to put in a theater system for the guys to be able to watch sports on the big screen. At their age, it’s harder to see smaller screens. Also, the staff can put on movies every day for them to enjoy,” Dickey said. “We’re working alongside the staff about what we’re going to do with the rest of the money, but it’s all about helping them in the best way we can.”
After a heavy emphasis on the motorcycle ride last year, a new addition has been added. The ride will continue, but a “poker walk” around the Square will also take place with chances to win door prizes. Attendees will also have a chance to win a 50’ zero-turn Toro mower, which was donated by Home Depot. A card can be purchased at each location in the form of a donation, and that will be the poker hand each person can use to attempt to win the mower. Other events will include silent auctions and 50/50 drawings occurring throughout the afternoon.
On April 22, the 2017 Ride & Walk For The Veterans will start at Local’s Bar on the Square at 2 p.m. and will conclude at 6 p.m.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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