A heartfelt thank you to all our members – veterans, military personnel and their families – and the world-class athletes who joined us for our fourth annual Heroes Meet Heroes event at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.
My spouse Lin Higgins, Veterans Advantage co-founder and COO, created this event hoping that members of both the military and athletic communities would be inspired by one another during an afternoon of socializing. And while Lin was unable to make this year’s gathering, I’m happy to report that her mission – now in its fourth year – continues to be a success.
We had 19 stellar athletes and Olympians – who were in town for the New York Athletic Club’s All Sports Dinner – meet, mingle and snap photos with over 40 veterans along with their numerous family members and guests.
Not only did I get to enjoy the company of Veterans Advantage members in attendance, but, as an athlete myself, it was a pleasure to chat with some of America’s strongest and fastest, including judoka Janine Nakao, high jumper Priscilla Frederick, sprinter Brycen Spratling, hammer thrower Amanda Bingson and boxer Nikos Spanakos – who once roomed with another boxer you might have heard of: Cassius Clay!
And once again we were graced by the presence of former NFL star and the club’s Athletic Director Cedric Jones, who has supported us every year in hosting this wonderful event. The New York Athletic Club’s historic Trophy Room provided us with a beautiful backdrop for Heroes Meet Heroes, with plenty of food and drinks to satisfy all our guests. This was also made possible in part by our generous sponsor – and Veterans Advantage partner – Foot Locker, so they are also deserving of our gratitude.
One last thank you to my good friends and Veterans Advantage Board of Advisors members Gerry Byrne and Paul “Bud” Bucha for helping us put this together. It’s a highlight of Veterans Week NYC for all of us at Veterans Advantage and for all of our members who attended. We were all inspired by the great athletes we had the pleasure of meeting in such a memorable setting, but I’m certain that even the famous Olympians depart Heroes Meet Heroes motivated by our veterans.
As Bud mentioned in his remarks, both athletes and military personnel work tremendously hard to serve our country in different ways. Only veterans rarely receive the recognition and applause that many athletes are accustomed to. However, I’m happy to say that now is their time during Veterans Week NYC, and I hope that all the visiting veterans and military personnel feel appreciated for their hard work and sacrifice.
If you’ve yet to join us for Heroes Meet Heroes, I’m inviting you now. Register for free by following this link and I’ll see you here next year! And if you would like to receive some photographs from yesterday’s event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.