Enable America Names Five Winners in Tampa Bay Lightning Contest to Honor Disabled Veterans and Wounded Warriors

Tampa, FL, March 24, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Five disabled veterans have been chosen as winners in Enable America’s “Fan of the Game” contest, which was held in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The five will be honored in a series of events this weekend, including the Lightning’s game Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

“This group proudly represents thousands of men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country, and we in turn are proud to be honoring them,” said Richard Salem, founder and CEO of Enable America. “Along with the support of the Tampa Bay Lightning, this event raises awareness of our cause, that disabled veterans and wounded warriors deserve equal employment opportunities.”

The five winners are Tyler Gump of Tampa, a Marine Corp staff sergeant who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and another two in Iraq; Andreas Bernt of Tampa, an Air Force Staff Sergeant who spent part of his overseas military career at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and is a former volunteer reserve deputy with the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Department; Patrick Brown of Clearwater, an Army infantry specialist injured in a mortar explosion while on patrol in Iraq; David Nielsen of Southern Pines, NC, an Army veteran and recipient of three bronze stars who served in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and Nathanael Carr of New Port Richey, a chaplain and retired Captain from the Navy, who is also a recipient of the Navy/Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon.

Applicants were considered and chosen by an executive committee, which included the Lightning’s Ryan Malone, who has long been an advocate of programs supporting those who serve in the U.S. Armed Services.

“The sacrifices made by all military members should never go unnoticed or under-appreciated,” Ryan said. “I would also like to thank Enable America for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this outstanding program.”

“The Lightning Foundation is committed to supporting all sorts of wonderful causes in the Tampa Bay community, including the support of service-disabled veterans,” said Heidi Hamlin, Lightning Foundation Coordinator. “We are delighted to partner with a community organization such as Enable America to enable our veterans to enjoy a top-notch Lightning game experience.”

The program was made possible by sponsorship from Region’s Bank, which recognizes the sacrifice of veterans as well as the need for equal employment opportunity and diversity in the workforce.

“These men and women have gone beyond the call of duty,” said John Acosta, Area President for West Florida at Regions Bank. “They have sacrificed physical self in their military service, and Regions Bank is privileged to honor their service to our nation.”

Founded by Salem in 2002, Enable America is devoted to improving employment for people with disabilities, and will celebrate its ten-year anniversary in March. Enable America’s Community Connections, Business Connections, Career Mentoring Days, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities.

“None of our achievements would be possible without the support we receive from partners such as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Regions Bank,” Salem said. “Enable America is a bridge builder, and community supporters such as these are critical to recognizing the potential of people with disabilities, and the need to grow employment opportunities. We gratefully thank them for their contributions to this cause.”

About Enable America
Enable America was established in 2002 by attorney Richard Salem as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The organization’s Community Connections, Business Connections, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including our nation’s wounded warriors. More information can be found on the organization’s web site, www.EnableAmerica.org.

Chris Jadick
Executive Director | Chris.Jadick@EnableAmerica.org
101 East Kennedy Blvd, Suite 3250 | Tampa, Florida 33602
(p) 813-222-3204 | (f) 813-222-8811
Enable America
Julie Meacci