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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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'Help Hospitalized Veterans' Steps Up As Sponsor of 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games, Houston

February 6, 2007

HOUSTON – With a check presented to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today for $200,000, Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) became the newest co-sponsor of the 21st National Veterans Golden Age Games in Houston. More than 600 veterans are expected to participate in this year’s Games, making it the nation’s largest senior sporting event for veterans.

A health and welfare organization, HHV joins the VA as a co-sponsor for one of the top adaptive rehabilitative senior sports programs in the world.  As an event sponsor, HHV shares the responsibility to provide a quality program for America’s aging veteran population.  HHV has also been a co-sponsor of VA’s National Veterans Creative Arts Festival for the past 17 years.  For more information about HHV, visit www.hhv.org.

“The National Veterans Golden Age Games provide another innovative and marvelous program that gives America’s veterans the opportunity to participate in challenging events that not only test their abilities but enhance their spirit,” said Mike Lynch, executive director of HHV.  “We look forward to our sponsorship to help bring this wonderful program to the veteran community for years to come.” 

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is hosting this year’s event from August 27-31, 2007. Competitors from across the United States will begin arriving on August 26 and the staff of the MEDVAMC is planning a week full of Houston tourism, entertainment, and recreation to fill any “down-time” competitors may have. The site for the majority of the sporting events, plus the opening and closing ceremonies, is the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. All veterans who are registered for health care at a VA Medical Center are eligible to compete. 
 
The games are the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans, including those with a wide range of disabilities.  Activities include swimming, bicycling, golf, shot put, discus, 10-meter air rifle, table tennis, dominoes, shuffleboard, horseshoes, nine-ball, bowling, checkers and croquet. Veterans compete in seven categories based on age.  Veterans who use wheelchairs or are visually impaired are also eligible to compete in separate divisions.

Local sponsorship of the Games is being accepted from area businesses and professional groups. Also, more than 1,000 volunteers are needed to assist with a full range of exciting activities taking place during the Games. 

If you are interested in sponsorship, contact Mike Mitchell at (713) 794-8779. If you would like to register to compete, contact one of the MEDVAMC Team Coaches, Jemarques Handy at (713) 791-1414, ext. 3537; Stacey Spicer at (713) 791-1414, ext. 5431; or Dennis Jones at (713) 791-1414, ext. 5524. To volunteer, call MEDVAMC Voluntary Services at (713) 794-7135. Visit the 2007 NVGAG Web site at www.veteransgoldenagegames.org.  The final day to register to compete is June 1, 2007.

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