Our wounded warriors will be honored at the SQR SUP & Run on May 16 in Sarasota, Fla., a 5K run and 5K stand-up paddle board (SUP) presented by the Sarasota Athletic Association to benefit Operation Second Chance (OSC). The event will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, and is a great way to have fun, meet new friends and say thank you for the sacrifices made by our armed forces heroes.
With all those folks participating in the event under the hot Florida sun, Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen will be at the SUP and Run protecting athletes’ exposed skin. Dermatology and Oculoplastic Consultants of Sarasota (DOCs of Sarasota) is one of the many sponsors of this event and welcomes Blue Lizard’s donation of a gallon of sunscreen.
“DOCs of Sarasota was thrilled to learn that Blue Lizard Sunscreen would be providing sunscreen for all the runners and stand-up paddleboard participants at our SRQ 5K SUP & RUN event that benefits Operation Second Chance,” said Trish Ivey of fresh. PR & Marketing, who help organize and promote the event. “It’s very important to us that people stay protected from the harsh Florida sun and Blue Lizard was more than happy to contribute, and we really appreciate that."
The seeds for Operation Second Chance were planted in 2004 as founder Cindy McGrew became involved with wounded soldiers and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Over time, she became more and more aware of the needs associated with long-term care of recuperating patients and their families.
McGrew and two of her friends began running errands, bringing groceries, providing playpens to hospital rooms for small children, and taking treats such as milkshakes and restaurant meals to the patients. From this humble beginning, Operation Second Chance was born.
“The greatest individuals I know are not politicians, movie stars or even the wealthiest people in the world. The greatest individuals I know are the men and women that put their lives on the line each and every day and serve our country,” said McGrew.
The Mission Statement of the Operation Second Chance declares: “We are patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. We support veterans and their families while they recover in military hospitals, by building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. We are dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.”
The organization has now grown to offer many programs to help injured and ill veterans. The services start with building one-on-one relationships through visits and providing activities in the hospital. Programs offered range from financial support for help with rent, utilities and childcare, to retreats and overnight trips for the veterans. Please visit www.operationsecondchance.org for more information about OSCs other programs.
Written by Jo Northup