On January 20, 2018 the DAV NE MN Transportation Program and the Duluth Warriors (VA rated disability veterans) collaborated in a hockey outreach/veteran event in Ely, MN for a second year. The event was a success once again. The Duluth Warrior hockey team was able to set-up tables to sell merchandise and collect donations for their veteran program. The DAV also had volunteer driver information at the table to inform potential volunteer drivers about the programs we provide in the area and collect interested candidate information. At this time, we run a vehicle out of Hibbing MN, which drives north to Virginia, MN before heading south to assist veterans to their VA appointments in Minneapolis (approximately 450 miles round trip). The veterans that utilize this program come from many parts of Northern Minnesota to include the Ely area and even farther north from cities like Embarrass, MN and Hoyt Lakes, MN. The overall goal was to provide veterans with information on the DAV NE MN transportation program and to ignite interest in a DAV vehicle in Ely to give veterans in need of transportation to our pick-up point in Virginia (60 mile difference) and provide some local transportation to the local Ely VA Clinic open Tuesdays and Thursdays each week.
The event entailed transporting the Duluth Warrior Hockey Team to Ely utilizing the Duluth / Superior DAV comfort coach. Once arrived, we set – up and presented information to the local community, lobbying for new volunteers and interest in a vehicle for the area. Overall it was a great event. In the past, we have done events/outreach with the Duluth Warriors. Since then, we have enrolled over half of the team in local DAV Chapters (Duluth). They have been a great addition helping/volunteering with DAV clothing drive and other community events such as parades, forget me nots, and helping the city with flags on the light poles. The VA has also been more than fair allowing us the capability to do these outreach events. We will continue to work and help each other to continue the success of the DAV NE MN Transportation program. We have come a long way in a few years and I am proud to part of such a great purpose and organization. Below on the next page are some photos from the Hockey event and the team with the buses at our last Christmas City of the North Parade event.
DAV NE MN Volunteer Transportation Program