Norwich 4th Annual Ride for Troops

Local vets raise money for injured soldiers

By: Melissa Stagnaro, Sun Staff Writer
Published: May 1st, 2009


Poker Run 2009 Bill
Poker Run 2009

NORWICH – This weekend, motorcycle riders will have the chance to take a scenic, hundred-mile ride through Chenango County, and it’s all for a good cause.

Saturday, rain or shine, the American Legion Riders from the Lt. Warren Eaton Post in Norwich will host their fourth annual Poker Run. Proceeds from the charity event will be donated to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, which supports American soldiers injured in combat overseas

According to local American Legion Riders President Paul Russo, combat veterans wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are sent to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the largest American hospital located outside of the US. There they receive treatment and rehabilitation for their injuries before returning home. Often their injuries are severe and their stays at the hospital lengthy.

LHCP provides items which “enhance the morale and welfare” of the wounded soldiers while they are hospitalized, according to the organization’s website. This includes clothing items like sweat pants, sweatshirts and pajamas, Russo explained.

The non-profit was founded in 2004 by Karen Grimord, who will attend this weekend’s event with her husband. “She’s really a remarkable woman,” said Russo, who described Grimord as a “living angel.”

Each year the Poker Run is attended not by just vets, Russo explained, but many other riders and clubs. “It’s a touching moment when you see all these people come out for this,” he said. “They are so supportive.”

The newly-formed local chapter of the Red Knights, comprised of volunteer fire-fighters and emergency squad members from Chenango and Broome countries, will be among this year’s participants.

According to Russo, registration will open at 10:30 a.m. on the morning of the event at the Lt. Warren Eaton American Legion Post 189, 29 Sheldon St. in Norwich. The entry fee will be $10 per hand. Bikers will leave the post between 11 a.m. and noon.

The planned route includes stops at the new York State Veteran’s Home in Oxford, the Old Mill Restraurant in Greene, Seebers Tavern in Smithville Flats, the Georgetown Inn and the Honkey Tonk in Sherburne before returning to the Norwich American Legion Post. The last hand must be in by 4 p.m., and awards will be given out at 4:30 p.m.

To participate, all riders must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid operator’s license. Bikes must be properly licensed, registered, inspected and insured.

For more information on the poker run, contact Bill at 656-5697 or via e-mail at

For additional information about the cause, visit Those who wish to donate to the cause, but chose not to participate in the poker run, are encouraged to do so.

“Any donations are definitely welcome,” Russo said.

American Legion Riders Post 189 NY
Norwich 4th Annual Ride for Troops

Vocera Supports Wounded Troops

Vocera Supports Wounded Troops through the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project

Vocera contribution will support combat wounded veterans


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Vocera, Inc., has made a financial contribution to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP) to provide comfort and relief items for military personnel who become sick, injured, or wounded from service in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. LHCP collects and distributes personal and care items to military patients, men and women of the armed forces, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and to field hospitals with additional needs.

“The contribution from Vocera will allow us to provide additional comfort items to wounded personnel at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany, the largest American military hospital outside the United States and to field hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq, within minutes of their injury and arrival at a military Med Station,” said Karen Grimord, founder of the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. “Donations allow LHCP to bring a touch of home and love to patients cared for far from our borders.”

Each LHCP shipment is sent in honor of a military member who has made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his or her life in service to our country. Hospital staff report that when patients learn that they and their fallen service members are remembered “back home,” spirits are lifted.

“Vocera is humbled by the commitment of the troops that serve our country,” said Bob Zollars, Chairman and CEO of Vocera Communications. “Several of Vocera’s staff members have had the privilege to work as technology consultants at Landstuhl. We have seen first hand the spirit and dedication of the VA staff and the patients they care for.”

The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP) is a non-profit organization. Donations to LRMC are done through the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center. This allows all in-patients, out-patients, LRMC liaisons, LRMC nurses and medical escorts access to supplies. The purpose of the program is to enhance the morale and welfare for troops and veterans by contributing quality-of-life items.

About Vocera

Vocera Inc. provides wireless communication systems enabling instant voice communication among mobile workers for leading institutions and companies requiring enhanced customer service, productivity, and teamwork.. The AHA Solutions division of the American Hospital Association has endorsed the Vocera communications system for instant voice communication in healthcare. The system is installed in over 600 hospitals around the world. The company, based in San Jose, Calif., sells to customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.”

Thank you to Vocera Communications and its employees. At a time when philanthropic giving is threatened by bottom lines, it is uplifting to see that some companies are still able to reach out and help where there is a need.