Ride Allegheny Sets Off to Raise Money for Veterans

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For Immediate Release                                     September 29, 2016

Contacts: Clark Wagner (301.512.5337) and Tim Sanders (949.391.0132)

Ride Allegheny celebrates $2 million in funds raised for veterans’ charity

Helping Operation Second Chance to provide emergency assistance to wounded, injured, and ill combat veterans.

PITTSBURGH, PA- On September, 29th over 100 bicyclists will begin a 4 day, 310 mile, journey from Pittsburgh, PA to Gaithersburg, MD, raising money for wounded veterans.  The group is Ride Allegheny, and their mission for the past 12 years has been to fundraise for the non-profit organization Operation Second Chance and to help our nation’s wounded heroes.  This year, however, marks a milestone for these dedicated cyclists, having brought in over $2 million dollars for the veteran service organization since 2005.

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Cindy McGrew (second from right), President and Founder of Operation Second Chance, and Clark Wagner, Founder and Chairman of Ride Allegheny (right) discuss this year’s ride on WUSA9, Great Day.

Because of Ride Allegheny’s continued support, Operation Second Chance has been able to provide emergency financial assistance to thousands of wounded veterans throughout the United States.  During a time of great strain within the Department of Veteran Affairs, it’s organizations like Operation Second Chance who bridge the gap for these brave veterans until they are able to receive their retirement benefits.  “Some of these wounded heroes are waiting up to 9 months before they receive their first retirement check,” says Cindy McGrew, President and Founder of Operation Second Chance.  “While they are waiting, unable to work because of their injuries, many veterans find themselves facing eviction or utility cut off.  That is where Operation Second Chance comes in – and we wouldn’t be able to provide for them without great partners like Ride Allegheny.

RA15_Day 04:  Cindy + Pete cross the finish line @ Smokey Glen Farms

Cindy McGrew (left), President and Founder of Operation Second Chance and Ride Allegheny’s Marketing Coordinator, Peter Hinz (right) cross the finish line in 2015 at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, MD.

“We ride because of the [veteran’s] sacrifices,” Clark Wagner, Founder and Chairman of Ride Allegheny said.  “When we heard about this non-profit supporting veterans in our area, we knew we had to partner with them and raise money for their cause; twelve years, and $2 million later, we couldn’t be happier with all that we have accomplished together,” he continued.

On September 29, 2016 the riders will meet in Pittsburgh to start the first 69 mile leg of their journey to Ohiopyle, PA; the four day ride will eventually lead them through 23 towns and cities until they reach the finish line in Gaithersburg, MD.

 

To learn more about Ride Allegheny, you can view their website at RideAllegheny.org or contact Clark Wagner at clarkwags@gmail.com for additional information. If you are interested in learning more about the non-profit they support, or ways that you can help our nation’s wounded heroes, go to OperationSecondChance.org.

Ride Allegheny Crosses the Finish Line with $2 Million Donated to Veterans

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For Immediate Release                                     October 2, 2016

Contacts: Clark Wagner (301.512.5337) and Tim Sanders (949.391.0132)

Ride Allegheny celebrates $2 million in funds raised for veterans’ charity

Helping Operation Second Chance to provide emergency assistance to wounded, injured, and ill combat veterans.

GAITHERSBURG, MD        – On October 2, 2016 over 100 bicyclists will cross the finish line after a 4 day, 310 mile, bicycle ride from Pittsburgh, PA to Gaithersburg, MD raising money for wounded veterans.  The group is Ride Allegheny, and their mission for the past 12 years has been to fundraise for the non-profit organization Operation Second Chance and to help our nation’s wounded heroes.  This year, however, marks a milestone for these dedicated cyclists, having brought in over $2 million dollars for the veteran service organization since 2005.

wusa9-interview

Cindy McGrew (second from right), President and Founder of Operation Second Chance, and Clark Wagner, Founder and Chairman of Ride Allegheny (right) discuss this year’s ride on WUSA9, Great Day.

Because of Ride Allegheny’s continued support, Operation Second Chance has been able to provide emergency financial assistance to thousands of wounded veterans throughout the United States.  During a time of great strain within the Department of Veteran Affairs, it’s organizations like Operation Second Chance who bridge the gap for these brave veterans until they are able to receive their retirement benefits.  “Some of these wounded heroes are waiting up to 9 months before they receive their first retirement check,” says Cindy McGrew, President and Founder of Operation Second Chance.  “While they are waiting, unable to work because of their injuries, many veterans find themselves facing eviction or utility cut off.  That is where Operation Second Chance comes in – and we wouldn’t be able to provide for them without great partners like Ride Allegheny.

“We ride because of the [veteran’s] sacrifices,” Clark Wagner, Founder and Chairman of Ride Allegheny said.  “When we heard about this non-profit supporting veterans in our area, we knew we had to partner with them and raise money for their cause; twelve years, and $2 million later, we couldn’t be happier with all that we have accomplished together,” he continued.

RA15_Day 04:  Cindy + Pete cross the finish line @ Smokey Glen Farms
Cindy McGrew (left), President and Founder of Operation Second Chance and Ride Allegheny’s Marketing Coordinator, Peter Hinz (right) cross the finish line in 2015 at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, MD.

On September 29, 2016 the riders will meet in Pittsburgh to start the first 69 mile leg of their journey to Ohiopyle, PA; the four day ride will eventually lead them through 23 towns and cities until they reach the finish line in Gaithersburg, MD.

To learn more about Ride Allegheny, you can view their website at RideAllegheny.org or contact Clark Wagner at clarkwags@gmail.com for additional information.   If you are interested in learning more about the non-profit they support, or ways that you can help our nation’s wounded heroes, go to OperationSecondChance.org.

 

Be The One – Giving Challenge 2016

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How can you “Be The One” to make a difference in a Veteran’s Life?

At Operation Second Chance, we meet Veteran’s with unique stories each day.  Despite the differing tales, there is always one overarching theme; though their time at war is over, a new battle has begun – a fight for their homes, their family, and their sanity.  Many of our American heroes struggle to adjust to civilian life, and find themselves living in poverty or facing homelessness.  We strive to meet all the requests of our veterans whether they need help with a mortgage or rent payment, or a weekend getaway.  However, we couldn’t help any of our heroes without the support and generosity of The Community Foundation of Sarasota, the Patterson Foundation, and you, our donors.

How does it make you feel to know you could “Be The One” to bring a smile to a veteran facing an unbelievable amount of stress.  With a donation to Operation Second Chance during this year’s Giving Challenge, you can help keep the lights on in a Veteran’s home, make sure their children always have something to eat, or even give a family a much needed retreat, like the 2015 Giving Challenge helped us do for the Roberson family.

“I have spent half [of] my daughter’s lives away from them in Afghanistan and training,” SFC Roberson wrote us.  After losing a leg in battle and spending a year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) recovering, SFC Roberson elected to stay in the Army and reenlisted for 8 years. “I was the first amputee to graduate from the Army Air Assault School,” he went on to tell us before sharing that he deployed to Afghanistan 2 additional times.  His only request – help him get some long overdue family time with this wife, and 2 daughters who had never been to the beach; so the sunny shores of Sarasota, Florida was where they were going!

Being able to provide some much needed R&R for this veteran and his family was made possible by those of you in Sarasota who support us day in, and day out.  But they’re not the only ones who benefited from your generosity during last year’s giving challenge.  Veteran Chad D. was also able to experience beautiful Sarasota, and enjoy some relaxing deep see fishing.

“Life at the Walter Reed can get rough at times with everything we go through in our process to heal and get home to our lives and families,” Chad wrote us.  “My life was absolutely chaotic when the trip came up so it was a needed break.  The things that these guys do for us to help us get out of our own ways are IMMEASURABLE.  They took me out of here, sent me down to the beach, let me do some fishing and relax.  I met some amazing people, had a blast hanging out with everyone I met or knew, and was able to forget about recovery for a few days.”

These are two, out of hundreds of, stories showing the impact that the Community Foundation of Sarasota’s 2015 Giving Challenge has made for our Veterans.  What will you help make possible for our veterans during this year’s Giving Challenge?  How will you “Be The One?”

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Fridays at the Farm – Crabs and More!!

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Guarantee Your Spot by Purchasing Tickets Online at www.smokeyglenfarm.com
June – August · 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM · Last Seating at 7:30 PM

Buffet Features: Steamed Spiced #1 Crabs & Steamed Spiced Shrimp

Smokey Glen Farm’s Famous Barbecued Chicken & Spareribs

 

Also includes:

Baked Beans, Mac & Cheese, Kosher Style Hot Dogs, Corn on the Cob,

Big Salad Bar, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Fresh Baked Bread and…

Smokey Glen Farm’s Famous Charcoal-Baked Pies (Apple, Cherry, Blueberry & Peach)

 

Unlimited Sodas, Iced Tea & Lemonade!

Fun for the entire family! Horseshoes · Miniature Golf · Playground

Smokey Glen Farm – 16407 Riffleford Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

www.smokeyglenfarm.com (301) 948-6097

Adults (Age 16+) $47.95
Children
Ages 13-15 $29.95
Ages 10-12 $19.95
Ages 6-9 $9.95
Ages 5 & under FREE
Plus MD State Sales Tax. No Gratuities.
Beer & Wine

Choice of Bud, Miller Lite, Yuengling and Red & White Wine

 

$6.95 per person for the Entire Evening

 

Plus MD State Sales Tax.

Age 21 or older – Please be prepared to show ID.

Please: No carry-out containers or coolers. All food must be consumed on site. All seating is first-come, first-serve. No pets, please. Cash / Visa / Master Card / American Express.  Pricing subject to change.

Operation Second Chance gets a visit from Congressman Delaney

 For Immediate Release                                              April 18, 2016

Contacts: Cindy McGrew & Vanessa Toner 301-972-1080

 

Operation Second Chance gets a visit from Congressman Delaney

Congressman John Delaney stopped by the Operation Second Chance office to learn more about how he can help our nation’s injured veterans.

GERMANTOWN, MD, April 18, 2016— Since 2004 Operation Second Chance, a non-profit organization based in Germantown, MD, has worked tirelessly to provide emergency financial assistance and morale boosting retreats and activities to wounded, injured, and ill post 9/11 combat veterans and their families.  Its President and Founder, Cindy McGrew, saw the need for a ‘grassroots’ organization that would never lose sight of the goal to provide relief for the men and women of our armed forces who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.

Nearly twelve years after its inception, Operation Second Chance (OSC) continues to grow.  With the help of community leaders, corporate sponsors, and generous donors, OSC has been able to provide over three million dollars in financial support to wounded veterans.  Through the years, the Operation Second Chance Advisory Board has stood by Cindy to find new ways to garner donations without succumbing to the costly pitfalls of advertisements.  Ensuring that OSC’s overhead remains at 10%, advisory board members like Tom Plant (Paul Davis Restoration), Clark Wagner (Ride Allegheny), Bud Otis (Frederick County Council President), and others have proudly kept to the grassroots mentality and helped share the mission, one person at a time.  Business owners such as Mark Matan (of Matan Inc. a commercial real estate investment firm) have also helped Operation Second Chance to maintain a low overhead by donating the office suite from which they operate daily.

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The Congressman’s Visit to Operation Second Chance.  In this photo from left, Walt Ellenberger , Clark Wagner, Congressman Delaney, Cindy McGrew, Tom Plant, Bud Otis, Howard Goldberg, Mark Matan. (Photo taken by Christopher Enders)

“We thought, ‘who better to help tell our story than the congressman over the district where we are headquartered in,” Mr. Plant stated.  Within days of inviting Congressman Delaney to the office, a date was marked on the calendar, and the congressman was excited to learn how OSC has operated with such low overhead all these years.

Members from Ride Allegheny, a group of cyclists who ride 310 miles from Pittsburgh, PA to Gaithersburg, MD to raise funds for OSC, joined the meeting to tell their story of how they got involved with Cindy.  “We started off as a group of neighborhood guys who just wanted to ride, but we realized there was so much more we could do,” said Clark Wagner, “last year we raised $450,000 dollars for Operation Second Chance.”

Upon hearing that “neighborhood guys” brought in $450,000 dollars in donations, the Congressman jumped in on the conversation, eager to learn more of the unique ways Operation Second Chance has received donations for American Veterans.  As the meeting concluded, Congressman Delaney was excited to have had the chance to meet the Operation Second Chance team, as well as the Advisory Board, and offered his commitment to help further the cause.  “I’d even like to ride with you,” said the Congressman, as Clark and the others leapt for a pen to sign him up.

cindy“We are extremely excited to have Congressman Delaney’s help and support,” said President and Founder Cindy McGrew, who is no stranger to recognition from political leaders, having had the chance to meet President George W. Bush when she won the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

“Operation Second Chance is ready for the next level, and with the help of Congressman Delaney, we are sure we can get our story told to a whole new audience,” Cindy concluded.

Calling All NASCAR Fans!!

VA is coming to a NASCAR track in your area!
VA will be at the Richmond International Raceway (RIR), in Richmond, VA,
this April 22-24, 2016, as part of an ongoing collaboration with NASCAR to
promote greater access to VA benefits and services. VA will be on site all
weekend with a Mobile Vet Center unit and a team of health and benefits
experts who can answer your questions, share information, and help you
access your VA benefits.

As part of the collaboration, RIR is offering Veterans and their families
discounted tickets for the April 23 and 24 races. Go to the RIR website and
type “Veteran Offer” into the search field and look for the “Driving VA
Benefits and Services Home” page to learn more. Click here. Or call 866-455- RACE (7223)
and mention the “Veteran Offer.” Come out and learn more about your VA
benefits as RIR celebrates the return of Sunday afternoon racing.

Military Caregivers & Spouse Educational Webinar

Military Caregivers & Spouse Educational Webinar

Tuesday April 5th

Hosted by the wife and caregiver of a disabled veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Learn about Union Institute & University which offers online programs specifically designed for busy adults, like you, who are balancing family, career and commitments.

On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 there is a free online seminar about earning your degree while maintaining your responsibilities as a caregiver. In this presentation they will discuss:

-Scholarships for military spouses, dependents

-Scholarships for caregivers, spouses

-VA education benefits

-Union’s Veteran Resource Center

Registration is required. Click Here.