The National Veterans Golden Age Games, May 30 to June 4, will bring 850 Veterans and their families from around the country to Buffalo.
The Games represent an opportunity to honor these Veterans and their competitive spirit, as well as a chance for Buffalo to showcase our warm, welcoming and vibrant community. To that effect, members of the Western New York Congressional Delegation, VA Western New York Healthcare System, the National Veterans Golden Age Games Local Organizing Committee and the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission (a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara) are making a call for volunteers to offer their time and energy to assist with the Games.
Volunteers are sought to help support sporting events (ranging from the exhibition sport of sled hockey to cycling), greet veterans at the airport and their hotels, register competitors and more. To volunteer, please contact Kelly Clark at VA Western New York Healthcare System at 716-862-8672 or Kelly.Clark@va.gov or visit www.va.gov/opa/speceven/gag/index.asp to obtain the volunteer application.
“We are moving toward the finish line for the Grand Opening Ceremonies for the 27th Annual National Veterans Golden Age Games in Buffalo on May 30,” said Local Honorary Chairman of the National Veterans Golden Age Games Patrick Welch. “One of the final pieces to be put in place is volunteers for the events that will take place during the five days of competition all over Erie and Niagara Counties. The theme for the games is ‘Warriors on the Waterfront’ and it will bring over 850 veterans, families and supporters to our community and many of these veterans served in Vietnam. This is our chance to say ‘Thank You’ to all who did not ever receive a ‘Welcome Home.’ Please help us make this the most memorable Golden Age Games in history.”
“Here’s a great opportunity to stand up and serve those who have selflessly stood up and served this great nation,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “We all know a veteran and certainly each of our lives have been touched by the service of our men and women in the military, past and present; volunteering for the Golden Age Games is a great way to say thank you.”
“Buffalo’s Golden Age Games honors those who volunteered to serve our country, and I am certain Western New Yorkers will jump at the chance to give something back to those heroes by volunteering at this year’s games,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “We worked hard to get the games back on schedule and I encourage anyone in Western New York who is able to volunteer a few hours of their time to help make the event a success, to do so.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Buffalo to show off just how welcoming and wonderful a city it is and to prove yet again that we truly are the City of Good Neighbors.”
“I am thrilled that the 2013 Golden Age Games have been reinstated, and I am confident that the Western New York community will rally in support of the Games and make them a resounding success,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Buffalo’s culture of community service and volunteerism will give the hundreds of Veteran athletes participating in the games an experience they will hold dear for years to come.”
“The National Veterans Golden Age Games is yet another opportunity for Buffalo and all of Western New York to display what makes this community like no other,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Now that this event is back on, we need volunteers to welcome our visitors from around the country with our trademark warmth and hospitality. The people of Western New York never disappoint when we need them to step up and I know this event will be no different.”
“We are looking forward to rolling out the red carpet for our Nation’s Veterans,” stated Brian Stiller, VA Western New York Healthcare System director. “The Western New York community is outstanding; #1 sports’ fans and supportive of Veterans. We look forward to more individuals and groups volunteering for this special event.”
“We are very excited to have the National Veterans Golden Age Games reinstated and now we’re calling on Buffalonians to join us in showing off our city to guests from around the country,” said Visit Buffalo Niagara President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen. “By volunteering for the games, you can help create a friendly, helpful and welcoming environment for our Veterans and send them home as ambassadors for Buffalo.”
The National Veterans Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility and give participants the opportunity to compete in ambulatory, visually-impaired and wheelchair divisions, according to their ages. Events include swimming, cycling, golf, horseshoes, bowling, shot put, discus, croquet, dominoes, air rifle, nine-ball, and table tennis.
The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission is a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara that promotes Buffalo and Erie County nationally and internationally as a premier sports tourism destination for the economic benefit of the community by boosting hotel occupancy and encouraging visitor spending.