Several months ago, a chance encounter between Project Help’s Executive Director Sandy Mitchell and IBEW Local 102 Treasurer Dave Fiore led to the decision for the union to support the veterans’ charity through their annual IBEW Bike Run and Car Show.
The event, held on the hottest day of the year, took off with a roar of Harley Davidson bikes, ending at IBEW’s Parsippany headquarters. Not unexpectedly, the heat led to fewer participants than years past, but that didn’t dampen the high spirits of the riders. With fantastic food, awesome tricky tray and silent auction raffles, and rock and roll music playing to keep the crowd moving, the IBEW crew worked through the heat to ensure that everyone had a great time.
At the end of the day, the unofficial tally of funds raised was quietly mentioned to be $30,000.
“I almost fainted when I heard that number,” said Sandy Mitchell, Project Help founder and Executive Director, “but I decided not to believe my ears and waited for the official count from Dave.”
Word recently came down to Mitchell that after some last-minute donations, the total amount raised for Project Help was $33,750, which she called a wonderful surprise. Fiore invited Mitchell to come and receive a check, and they were able to take photos and celebrate.
“I was so moved by this, it nearly brought me to tears, but I managed to hold it together,” said Mitchell, “I proceeded to thank them from the bottom of my heart and filled in some of the background information about how Project Help came to be and what our mission is in the support of our vets.”
This money will allow Project Help to assist more vets than ever before. As a grassroots, all-volunteer charity, every dollar is stretched to aid New Jersey veterans and their families. Mitchell said this donation will go a long way towards their mission, but that they can’t take it for granted.
“We have to continue to work,” she said, “We have to squeeze every dollar we get; we can’t sit back and take it easy.”