Golf outing raises $1,000 for disabled vets in Sharpsburg
By Tawnya Panizzi
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 5:12 p.m.
A spring golf outing was more than just a fun day on the links for members of American Legion Post 106 in Sharpsburg.
They wanted to take a swing at helping fellow veterans, said Pat Astorino, longtime member of the post along North Canal Street.
“I had a brainstorm and said, ‘Let's try a golf outing to make some money for our guys,'” Astorino said, speaking of the Keystone Paralyzed Veterans of America (KPVA), headquartered in Sharpsburg.
They came up with $1,000, which was donated last week.
The KPVA advocates for quality veterans' health care, monitors services at VA hospitals across the state, helps shape the federal budget and encourages independence in its members, many of whom have spinal cord injuries.
The most significant undertaking is the Hospital Liaison Program, in which volunteers visit five VA sites across the state to assess services.
“We talk to fellow vets and staff and make sure they are getting the best health care they can,” said Joe Dornbrock, executive director of the state chapter along Main Street.
Dornbrock said his group uses the data to write an independent budget, which helps to shape the $68 billion VA health care spending plan.
“We're happy to have the donation, because we're always short,” he said.
“There is a real need for us to put more resources into the programs we currently have.”
The golf outing was held at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course and attracted 40 competitors. Ken Mattheis, a board member of the Sons of the American Legion, credited the community for pitching in.
The buses, beverages and food were donated, he said.
“Everything we made went to them,” Mattheis said, referring to veterans.
Astorino said the KPVA is charged with a hefty responsibility in seeing that paralyzed veterans receive benefits they deserve.
“They operate only on donations,” he said. “They need our help.”
Dornbrock said because the impact that the group has on veteran's health care isn't widely publicized, there is not broad-based support.
“There are no tax dollars involved,” he said. “We rely on the generosity of the public.”
The Keystone chapter has 290 paralyzed veteran members.
Aside from its mission to support spinal cord injury research and improve access to health care, the group lobbies for increased opportunities for sports and recreation.
In recent months, the agency has encouraged members to participate in a pheasant hunt, trap shoot and bass fishing outing.
“It's not exclusively bowling or wheelchair games. We provide a chance for veterans who need help getting out and about,” Dornbrock said.
Astorino said he plans for the American Legion to host a yearly golf outing.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Orpik taken off ice on stretcher in loss to Bruins
- Steelers still have something worth playing for
- Ex-Pirates great Parker’s long wait for Hall of Fame could finally end
- Breaking down the Pirates’ needs entering winter meetings
- Rossi: Penguins’ Orpik among select NHLers going without gluten
- Controversial Rooney Rule has opened door for NFL minority coaching candidates
- Robinson: Video review reveals Steelers coach’s sideline movements in Baltimore were out of character
- Steelers notebook: TE Spaeth activated for stretch run
- Investors put squeeze on prospective homeowners’ American dreams
- Rampant misuse of antibiotics poses growing global threat, experts warn
- Police say fellow cop arrested for drunk driving after coming to work intoxicated