Initial Donations Will be Used by The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center and Friends of Ward 8 to Expand Alternative Therapy Programming
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., January 27, 2014 LL Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: SWHC), a leader in firearm manufacturing and design, today announced that it will honor and support Springfield’s veterans and military families by donating $5,000 to each of two local veterans charities, The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center Inc. and Friends of Ward 8 Inc. A portion of the funds will be used by The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center to expand an equine therapy program for its combat veteran clients at the Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Holyoke. The Friends of Ward 8 will use a portion of the funds provided by Smith & Wesson to purchase cameras, equipment, and curriculum for a newly developed phototherapy class for veterans recovering from PTSD.
James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “Over the course of our 162-year history here in Springfield, we have proudly maintained a tradition of supporting those who have served in the armed forces and their families. We continue that tradition today by announcing that we are partnering with two local organizations that are dedicated to providing for the men, women and families who have made profound sacrifices for this country. We are honored and humbled to be able to support The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center and the Friends of Ward 8. We look forward to working closely with these important organizations in the future to improve the lives of the veterans in our communities.”
The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center
The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center provides funds to enhance social, recreational, educational, and health and wellness programming for local combat veterans. In addition to expanding the equine therapy program, funds donated by Smith & Wesson will be used by The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center to install a flagpole at the entrance of the center in West Springfield.
“We are so grateful to Smith & Wesson for its support of Springfield s combat veterans,” said Arlyn Wyman, Vice President of The Friends of the Springfield Vet Center’s Board of Directors. “This funding will enable the Springfield Vet Center to broaden enrollment in the alternative therapy programs that have shown such promising results. We look forward to this partnership with Smith & Wesson for the benefit of our local heroes.”
The Friends of Ward 8
The Friends of Ward 8 relies on charitable contributions to provide equipment and recreational activities to ensure that combat veterans are as active and interactive as possible while being treated for PTSD at the Northampton VA Medical Center. In addition to assisting current Ward 8 veterans, the Friends also provide support to graduates of the program. A portion of the Smith & Wesson funding was recently used to host a holiday dinner for the Ward 8 vets and their families. The first session of the phototherapy class has been underway for several weeks.
“We are so grateful to Smith & Wesson for its support,” said Jim Carner, President of the Friends of Ward 8 Board of Directors. “You hate to say ‘No’ to a vet in need, and now, thanks to Smith & Wesson, we’ve been able to say ‘Yes’ to a very exciting new program that will greatly benefit the vets in Ward 8. We look forward to continuing this partnership in support of combat veterans and their families.”
Smith & Wesson affirmed its dedication to veteran-support initiatives at a press conference on November 7, 2013, in conjunction with its announcement of plans to repair and restore the Roosevelt Avenue Veteran’s Flagpole Memorial located directly across from the Smith & Wesson campus. The Memorial Flagpole, originally built in 1931, was severely damaged by high winds on June 1, 2011. Smith & Wesson plans to unveil the Veteran’s Memorial Flagpole at a rededication ceremony that it will host on Memorial Day 2014.
About Smith & Wesson Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products, and training to the global military, law enforcement, and consumer markets. The company’s brands include Smith & Wesson®, M&P® and Thompson/Center Arms™. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts and Maine. For more information on Smith & Wesson, log on to www.smith-wesson.com.