May 19, 2024
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THE GYM Fundraiser Helps Improve NJ Veteran’s Home

Montvale & Englewood’s $12,000 Contribution Aids in Homes for Veterans Renovation

The recent Memorial Day celebrations remind everyone how important it is not only to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, but to also help those veterans who suffered service-related disabling injuries.

Last November, THE GYM hosted several events to raise money for Homes for Veterans, a nonprofit organization dedicated to adapting disabled veterans’ homes to make them handicap accessible and barrier free. Now, the $12,000 raised and donated by THE GYM has helped restore and make necessary improvements to the Newark, NJ home of Sergeant James Bellamy.

“I was honored to meet Air Force veteran Sgt. James Bellamy, a decorated patriot, and thank him for his extraordinary devotion to duty during the Vietnam War,” MSgt James Siletti, USAF Retired, 22 years active duty and personal trainer at THE GYM. “The Gym staff and members displayed true grit in rallying to make a difference for a fellow American in need.”

Bellamy, a Vietnam veteran, suffered a service-related spinal injury that resulted in subsequent complications and illnesses. His disability left him unable to walk, requiring him to rely on an electric scooter as his primary means of transportation. The wooden porch of Sgt. Bellamy’s older home had badly deteriorated over time and was straining under the weight of his scooter.

“Sgt. Bellamy served his country with honor. He was there when we needed him to protect us and now, we had the opportunity to show him we appreciate his service,” said Doug DiPaolo, Founder of Homes for Veterans. “It warms my heart to see how much the employees and members of THE GYM care for our troops, and how much they respect our veterans for their service.”

Using the money raised by THE GYM’s month-long November fundraiser, a contractor hired by Homes for Veterans recently completed a $16,450 renovation to repair the front porch of Sgt. Bellamy’s home. The repairs to the porch augmented the recent installation of a mechanized wheelchair lift funded by the Veteran’s Administration.

“We had a great time hosting these fundraising events for Homes for Veterans and it’s so wonderful to see all they were able to do for Sergeant Bellamy as a result. We’d love to help do the same for another veteran soon,” said Lisa Bruchalski, Group Fitness Director at THE GYM of Montvale.

Nurit Chasman, Group Fitness Director at THE GYM of Englewood added, “We were so pleased to have a hand in contributing to this very important cause, and seeing the improvements that Homes for Veterans was able to make to Sergeant Bellamy’s home makes it all worthwhile. We look forward to collaborating with them again in the future.”

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