ATHENS — The Valley is a community with a large amount of veterans — and a place that loves to support those who served their country.
That was evident on Friday as the American Legion Riders of Post 246 handed a check for $6,211.10 to Guthrie President and CEO Joe Scopelliti and Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Catherine Mohr.
The money will go to the Guthrie Veterans Committee, which recognizes and serves veterans and their families.
“This is really wonderful. The veterans are committed to good health and supporting the community organizations that assist with that, so this is just a great partnership,” said Scopelliti. “People are dedicated to improving our community. The (local veterans organizations) are a great group and they do a lot of good things and we’re very fortunate to be recipients of their generosity.”
The American Legion Riders of Post 246 held a motorcycle Ride for Health on Sept. 7 to raise money for the Guthrie Veterans Committee.
“I’m a veteran and most of my family are veterans and there’s a ton of veterans around in the Valley, so (it’s about) helping them. I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have too many problems, but there’s a lot of unlucky ones, so why not help,” said Christopher Ashwood, who is the president of the American Legion Riders of Post 246.
The motorcyle ride was also supported by Tanner’s Bar and Grill, VFW Post 6824, Towanda VFW, Sayre Legion, Audie Mincer PTSD Cancer Awareness, Sayre VFW, Sons of American Legion Post 246, Athens Legion Auxiliary Post 246, Horseheads American Legion Riders and B’s Tavern.
Scopelliti explained that Guthrie will use the money to further help veterans in the community.
“Three or four years ago now, Steve Hakes came to us and said ‘we need to do a better job at being a veteran-friendly organization’ and we have been on a progressive path to improve that every year,” Scopelliti said. “(We are looking to keep improving) from a standpoint of how we approach veterans who are looking for employment to how we deal with them as patients and their unique needs. We’ve done a lot of groundwork to do a better job for them. There are a lot of veterans in the community ... it’s a big part of this community.”