EUGENE — The initial fundraising results for the 2nd Annual Heroes 2 Oregon (H2O) Dragon Boat Paddle Challenge are in, and we netted a little over $9,600. That is up from our 2014 total of $4,438.08, that’s more than a $5,000 increase.
We could not have accomplished this without the unending support from the Lane County Sports Commission (aka Eugene, Cascades and Coast Sports), the City of Eugene Adaptive Recreation, the State Parks Department, Guaranty Chevrolet and RV Services, Vancouver Lake Catch-22 Dragon Boat Club, DragonSports USA, and Lane County’s Transient Room Tax grant program.
The Heroes 2 Oregon (H2O) Dragon Boat Paddle Challenge is an annual community event and fundraiser for the Eugene Parks Foundation Veterans Adaptive Sport Project, which “provides funding for injured, ill and disabled Veterans to be able to engage in adaptive sports all year long and encourage veterans to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle.”
Last year, foundation money helped veterans purchase adapted bikes, attend sports workshops and clinics, purchase pool and club memberships, organize various skiing, biking and rafting trips, as well as countless other activities. Physical activity and social connection have proven time and again to help manage PTSD, depression, and anxiety in all populations (not just veterans). It is especially vital for our veterans who are pushing back against the stigma of being ‘damaged’ when frequently, they just need a healthy out let and support from the community.
On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States. Foundations like the Veterans Adaptive Sport Project and programs like Emerald City’s Veterans Paddle Program hope to, in some small part, reduce that statistic to zero. Thank you for your support in this endeavor.