(MAYVILLE, NY) — The Chautauqua Gran Fondo event that took place on August 29th was a huge success that brought in hundreds of people, and thousands of dollars for local organizations. Donations have been split to benefit three organizations, including Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity. “These are charities of special interest to our local organizers,” said Michelle Turner, VP of Marketing for the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA). The other charities that received donations included The LoCo Rail Trail and the Wounded Warrior Project/Veterans Endowment Fund.
Webb’s Captain’s Table played a large role in the success of the inaugural bike tour. The Webb family, primarily Ben Webb, was a gracious host and will continue to be a key asset in years to come. Plans for the 2016 Chautauqua Gran Fondo are already under way and the event is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th 2016.
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization with the local affiliate located right in Mayville, NY. Their mission is “seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.” The local non-profit organization is a Christian housing ministry that was founded in 1989 to help build affordable and safe homes for low-income families within Chautauqua County. Jean McGowan of the Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity has been working at 23 Tew Street for two years doing renovations and fixing up the home for a deserving family, with hopes of completing the project by the end of October.
Habitat for Humanity is 100% volunteer based and brings people together to build homes and hope for families. Their vision is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live” and the organization believes in an open-door policy. Habitat for Humanity International started in 1976 and operates around the globe, building and repairing more than 600,000 homes to give refuge to almost 3 million people worldwide. There are a number of ways to make a donation to Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity. Financial donations such as individual, memorial or honor are accepted. Property donations including the donation of a house or land is can provide a new beginning to a family in need.
Material donations are welcome, such as building materials, hardware and tools that help complete the projects at hand. Volunteering services are greatly appreciated. Volunteers help Habitat for Humanity keep their costs low and give satisfaction and appreciation to the business helping provide low cost houses to working families in need of simple, decent, affordable housing.
If you wish to volunteer or donate to your local Habitat for Humanity, you can visit www.habitatchaut.org or call (716) 934-9543 or 716-863-4475 to learn more on how you can help.
(JAMESTOWN, NY) — The organizers and volunteers of the first annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo worked very hard make the bicycle tour a success. The participants and corporate sponsors gave generously to support the organizations chosen. Amongst the chosen are the Wounded Warrior Project and the Chautauqua County Veterans Endowment Fund. The Gran Fondo donated $4,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project and the endowment fund.
The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) serves to “Honor and empower wounded warriors. The WWP was started by Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who wanted to find a way to help their wounded comrades who served on or aPer September 11, 2001. Their goal is to provide long term support through a variety of programs designed to aide with rehabilitation and economic development. Wounded warriors struggle with multiple injuries that range from amputations of limbs to traumatic brain injury, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The WWP seeks to provide ongoing support for Veterans recovering from catastrophic injuries. Many of these Heroes will face a lifetime of challenges and may never be able to return to a normal work life. The WWP also provides assistance to spouses of wounded warriors through its respite care and caregiver support programs.
Many wounded are eager to heal and return to work. The WWP provides them with training and assistance through their Transition Training Academy (TTA) and Warriors to Work programs. The TTA helps them develop new skills in information technology while the Warriors to Work program helps Veterans and their caregivers write resumes, prepare for interviews, and puts them in touch with various employers.
Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen take great pride in their duties but we often forget that military service is a two way street. While military service members have a duty to protect the nation and serve freedom and equality, we have a duty to take care of them when they come home. The Wounded Warrior Project takes this duty seriously. For more information on ways to give back to the WWP, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
The Chautauqua County Veterans Endowment Fund seeks to help local Veterans in need with emergency funds. The fund helps by providing a loan of up to $500. There is no interest on the loan and no time period for repayment. If a Veteran repays their loan, they can reapply as needed. Veterans have used the fund to pay for medications, pay rent, travel to out of state medical appointments, repair vehicles, and more. The Veterans endowment fund is a very real and meaningful way to serve our local Veterans in their time of need.
As a Veteran and an advocate, I am grateful Michelle Turner of the CCIDA and the good folks who organized the Chautauqua Gran Fondo for their generosity as well as to County Executive Vince Horrigan for his unwavering support for his fellow Veterans. Their goods deed will reach out and touch the lives of many Veterans. Thank you very much.
Michael Rauh, US Army Veteran and Service Officer with the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency