By Kayleigh Jones
The Old Town Harley Owners Group (HOG) Chapter #5039 of Tampa Bay Harley-Davidson will host its fourth annual Paws for Patriots Clay Shoot in support of veterans who have vision loss, limb loss and/or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The shoot will be held on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, at FishHawk Sporting Clays, located at 13505 Hobson Simmons Rd. in Lithia.
All active-duty military personnel participate for free, and four-person teams pay $120 per shooter. According to assistant director Dennis Adams, the event’s goal is not just to raise money but to also provide active-duty military members with a free day of shooting and lunch. The money raised for Southeastern Guide Dogs comes from auctions, raffles, member donations and corporate sponsorships.
Adams and the Old Town HOG Chapter are no strangers to charity. In the last 18 years, Old Town HOG has raised and donated $600,000 to Southeastern Guide Dogs with the goal of providing service dogs to Veterans. In previous years, it has organized fundraisers ranging from golf tournaments to poker runs.
Due to Old Town HOG’s continuous efforts over the past eighteen years, many veterans have received free service dogs and associated expenditures such as food, veterinarian care and training through SE Guide Dogs were also covered.
Service dogs can assist Veterans struggling with a variety of issues, such as vision loss, PTSD and other mental or physical conditions. The Veterans Administration does not recognize service animals as a prosthetic need and won’t pay for a guide dog or assistance dog to be assigned to a disabled veteran; thus, the partnership with Old Town HOG and SE Guide dogs is invaluable.
Members of Old Town HOG, including Adams, have had the opportunity to listen to numerous veterans recount their experiences, detailing challenges with pain or disorders like PTSD, as a result of the partnership with SE Guide Dogs.
According to Adams, “They all have a common quote: ‘This dog saved my life.’”
Adams said the Old Town HOG chapter holds fundraisers not just to benefit the local community of now but also to support the community of tomorrow. Members of the Old Town HOG Chapter of Tampa Bay Harley-Davidson are making a difference in the community and working toward a brighter future.
For more information on Old Town HOG, visit its website at www.oldtownhog.com. For additional information on the clay shoot, look for the “You Can Help!” section on the left side of the home page, which includes a brochure and a sign-up page for the event(s). Sponsors and raffle donations are still needed.