The Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing & Fitness team (PVAR) gathered at Waterfront Park, Clermont recently to participate in the Top End Euro-American Hand-Cycle Championships. The race included world champion racers and Paralympic medalists.

For the last five years, the PVAR team arrives in Brooksville a week before the race to train said Jody Shiflett, a team participant.

Shiflett, a US Army Captain who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, has been racing since 2010. He asserts that his involvement with the PVAR Team has been rewarding, inspiring and fulfilling.  He appreciates the level of support that many of the team members give to one another and exclaims that he is proud to race alongside them.

Paralyzed Veterans Racing is the para-cycling and wheelchair racing component of Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Sport and Recreation ProgramThe team is comprised of disabled veterans that compete at cycling and marathon events around the country.  Contributions to the organization are always appreciated said Shiflett.

The evening before the race, the Wm. Alfred Suggs Memorial VFW Post 5277 and its auxiliary hosted a dinner for the PVAR team at the Golden Corral Restaurant. The dinner was provided to energize the team for the next morning’s race.  Robert Farrell, VFW member, proudly expressed how honored the VFW Post was to have the racing team visit each year and show us their never-ceasing courage and perseverance.

VFW post 5277 earns funds through fund raisers and Friday night bingo to help veterans in the Clermont area. The post membership donates most of the money raised to different veteran organizations and veteran hospitals in the Central Florida area.

Thousands of veterans from all five branches of the military reside in the South Lake County area.  The VFW helps veterans having questions regarding Veterans Affairs on items such as medical and housing assistance.