On May 20, people from all across the country participated in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) fifth annual “VA2K.” The 2K walk encourages fitness in its participants while supporting homeless veterans through donations of food and other items.
Liberty Hall, Cazenovia Recovery Systems’ Community Residence program located on the grounds of the Batavia VA, was incredibly excited to participate. Five residents, four staff, and Liberty Hall’s liaison with the Batavia VA, Ed Cooper, walked for the event. During the week, Liberty Hall staff and residents generously assembled grab-bags of toiletries including soap and shampoo that will be given to homeless veterans after they visit the VA for appointments.
Barbara Bowman, Counselor, stated that she “supports homeless Veterans completely.” As a staff member of Liberty Hall, she said that she loves her work. “Plus it’s nice to get in some exercise,” she responded when asked about why she’s participating in the event.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Marrocco, Program Secretary, has a long history of military service in her family, including her grandfather, father, and husband. Bonnie “understands and appreciates the sacrifices of all of our veterans” and will do whatever she can to support them.
Matt, a Veteran and resident of Liberty Hall since January, has volunteered serving homeless Veterans before. He was motivated to participate in the VA2K because he knows “that there’s a need there.” He’s very familiar with fitness as he’s done quite a few benefit walks and runs before. Matt also just got hired by the Batavia VA to run the facility’s gym which he is very excited for.