“It’s great teaming up with E-Z-GO and the Fisher House Foundation and working together to make our heroes’ lives better,” said Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director for Tee It Up for the Troops. “I truly believe our veterans and their families are entitled to be taken care of, and donating these vehicles is just one way we do that.”
For the last eleven years, Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, in partnership with E-Z-GO distributor Versatile Vehicles of Prior Lake, Minn., has delivered several vehicles a year to Fisher Houses across the nation. The first was delivered to the Augusta VA Medical Center in Georgia in 2012, with others reaching the East Coast’s Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, the West Coast’s Camp Pendleton in California, and midwestern Fisher Houses in Milwaukee, Wisc. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. This month, Tee It Up for the Troops Donates the 25th Golf Cart to the Fisher House Foundation with the destination of Fisher House of Columbia, South Carolina.
Fisher Houses are beautiful homes built and donated by the Fisher House Foundation to the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These homes enable family members to stay free of charge and be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an injury, illness, or disease.
The customized and street-ready golf carts will allow patients and their family members to travel from the veteran’s hospital where they are receiving treatment to their local Fisher House or other therapeutic areas without getting in and out of a vehicle or navigating large parking areas.
Tee It Up for the Troops partners with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., the manufacturer of E-Z-GO vehicles, to donate these customized vehicles to each new Fisher House.
“Tee It Up for the Troops has been there for us and has provided a vehicle to every one of our houses on a VA property that has needed one,” said Brian Gawne, Vice President of Community Relations for Fisher House Foundation. “Parking and getting around on a VA campus is always a challenge, and some families are not mobile. Thanks to Tee It Up for the Troops and E-Z-GO, these cars are a godsend when families are facing a tough medical crisis.”
“Electric shuttles that are quiet and efficient can take a whole family or injured warfighter from a Fisher House around the campus to receive therapy or see a doctor,” said Brandon Haddock, Director, Communications at Textron Specialized Vehicles. “The vehicles can traverse facility paths, parking lots, and even into the entry of a VA hospital. It’s great to see how excited people are about the shuttles and to give the veterans something they really need.”
“These stretch electric shuttles, which can comfortably accommodate six passengers, are customized with many added features for the comfort and safety of veterans,” said Gaby Accad, owner of Versatile Vehicles, whose distributorship customizes many of the Fisher House vehicles. Additions include safety lights, turn signals, a rear seat that can convert to a flatbed to carry a wheelchair or other equipment, and a retractable windshield to block wind and rain.
Accad works with local companies to donate custom features, including red, white, and blue premium seats embroidered with the Tee It Up for the Troops logo, decals that are applied to the custom-painted cars, and shipping of the cars at donated or reduced rates to their destination.