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Howard Payne, WWII Veteran, US Army

We probably would all agree that with most non-profits the fun part is not so much collecting the money…it’s spending it.  And in the case of an ethical non-profit, it is spending it to help others. Now that is fun! We recently received a little taste of that on Wednesday, February 7th.  John Hodel (Founder) and Scott Shew (VP) drove out to the Seal Beach Naval Golf Course to witness Stand For Vets’s first investment of dollars so generously provided by our amazing donors. We helped pay for a paramobile wheelchair, like the one you have probably seen on our website and videos…Stand Up and Play.  These wheelchairs are state-of-the-art and sell for about $23,000 and Stand For Vets contributed $11,500 toward this particular chair. In this scenario, the chair can actually be used by multiple veterans who need help getting around and if we can help veterans feel a little more normal by playing some golf, then that’s what we are about, making them feel normal.

From left to right: Anthony Netto, Inventor & Distributor of the Stand Up and Play Paramobile; Joe Grohman, SCPGA Board of Director, Chairman of the SCPGA Disabled golf committee, and the PGA HOPE program lead for Southern California PGA; Howard Payne, WWII Veteran, U.S. Army; John Hodel, Founder of Stand for Vets / The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation.

We met Joe Grohman, golf professional, who is on the SCPGA Board of Director, chairman of the SCPGA Disabled golf committee and the PGA HOPE program lead for Southern California PGA. Joe shared with me stories of bringing another chair in one day to have people try it out at the golf driving range. He said people were literally crying as this had been the first time many of them had stood in many years. We plan to attend another session, with this chair, at the Long Beach VA in a few weeks. We can’t wait to share those pictures.

From left to right: Scott Shew, Vice President of Stand for Vets / The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation; Howard Payne, WWII Veteran, U.S. Army; John Hodel, Founder of Stand for Vets / The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation.

We also met Howard Payne, WWII Veteran in the U.S. Army and served under General Patton. He is legally blind and has difficulty standing and getting around.  He also loves golf.  As you will see by the pictures, he adopted quickly to the chair and was chipping and putting in no time. The smile on his face was all we needed. Howard agreed to an interview in the near future and we can’t wait to hear his story.  We proudly salute Howard Payne!

Howard Payne, WWII Veteran, U.S. Army

This is why we do what we do and make the sacrifices we make to raise funds to help people like Howard. We are in the process of identifying a number of other veterans with mobility issues as well.  Stay tuned for that.  We couldn’t find a better way to spend a Wednesday. Oh, and the fact that it was John Hodel’s birthday made this particular present one of the best ever! Now that WAS fun!

BY: JOHN HODEL  /  Founder + President