Many local businesses support the effort
By Michael Turton
One of the core values promoted by the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is fun — and a local business is jumping on the fun bandwagon to help out the veteran-oriented program. McGuire’s-on-Main will host a party to celebrate the 113th annual Army-Navy football game on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 7 p.m., with all proceeds going to the WWP.
Festivities will include a free, potluck hot buffet, a 50-50 raffle, and an extensive merchandise raffle. Shaun McGuire, co-owner of the Main Street pub, said the number of prizes being given away is growing daily and will include numerous gift certificates from local businesses, a signed Navy football, and Army and Navy shirts.
McGuire’s has hosted the event for several years, but McGuire said that this year businesses are getting behind the project like they never have before. “We literally cannot keep up with all the donations,” he said. Local businesses contributing gifts and prizes include Whistling Willie’s American Grill, Robert’s Total Care Salon, Cup-o-ccino Cafe, Payning by Caryn, the Gift Hut and the Foundry Cafe. Even businesses a bit further afield are joining in. That list includes the Tuscan Grille of Briarcliff, Kyle’s Pub, Dicks Cottons, Fulgum’s Bar, the Mighty Horseman Tattoo Company, Daddy O’s and Manhattan Beer Distributors.
“We’re totally running out of room to put all this stuff,” McGuire said. “I’m so proud of my customers, friends and local business owners.”
A number of donations are not your garden-variety contributions. The Yodice family has donated horseback-riding lessons. The Pig Hill Inn contributed a free one-night stay. D. Bertoline and Sons donated a charcoal grill and cooler. A visitor to McGuire’s who happens to be in the information-technology business heard about Saturday’s event and anonymously donated eight roll-up, waterproof keyboards, a dozen Wristeeze therapeutic support gloves, ergonomic mouse pads and matching mouses, and a Smartfish whirl mini-mouse valued at more than $100. And a woman on Facebook pledged to bring a generous supply of homemade chocolate-coated pretzels.
The WWP’s mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” — military veterans who have suffered injuries as a result of their service to the country. Injuries include not only physical but also psychological setbacks such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The WWP’s programs include such services as assistance with physical rehabilitation, combat stress recovery, financial assistance, family support, grants to supportive businesses and organizations, and help to veterans reentering the workforce.
“Last year we raised $1,500 in a little over four hours of football and, considering the generosity of our customers, I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to double that this year,” McGuire said. “All proceeds will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.”
And there is that football game to watch as well. Army fans will be hoping that the Black Knights can finally reverse a skid that has seen their team lose the last 10 games — the longest streak in the 113-year history of the famous rivalry. The Midshipmen have outscored Army, 349-112, while winning the annual showdown from 2002 through 2011.