On July2nd, Northern and Southern New Jersey communities rallied and traveled to Citizens Bank Park to support Athletes with Disabilities Network Northeast Chapter Fundraiser. Atlantic county community member and police Officer Sgt. John Waddell assisted with organizing the fundraiser, BBQ and ticket sales to raise money for Athletes with Disabilities Network Northeast. AND-Northeast is a non-profit with the mission to promote a better quality of life for disabled veterans and people with physical disabilities by creating awareness and offering opportunities to get involved with athletic, recreational and educational activities locally and nationwide.
Groups in attendance were Toy’s for Kids Program, Spark-Suicide prevention & awareness resources for kids, Thrivent, Saint James Lutheran Church, Voorhees Amputee Stroke and Support group, Amputees in Action, Dylan’s RV, Sterling Brown from Tri-state Gamers, Alumi from PI at Kean University, Marlton Rehabilitation Hospital and Team River Runner staff. The BBQ provided the opportunity for community members to interact with disabled veterans and other disabled community members, like Brandon Holiday, a Team USA Paracanoe Kayak team member and the executive director of the Athletes with Disabilities Network’s Northeast Chapter. Other members from the organization where in attendance, injured combat veteran Josh Junk who is an instructor who can teach sight impaired and blind community members to kayak.
The non-profits programs, like their mentoring outreach assist disabled veterans and other community members and their family’s transition through traumatic life changing events like limb loss, spinal cord injury and more. Their mentors and adaptive sports programs help to show that life does not have to change with an injury and you can live a healthy active lifestyle even after losing a limb or suffering a serious injury. The Motto of the organization is “ There is no Replacement for the Competitive Spirit”