Stakes were high as cyclists rounded the Circle in the AmTrykes In Action Race Thursday evening.
The Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management Department partnered with the Memphis chapter of Ambucs, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled people become more mobile. The two organizations created the race as a benefit for veterans with disabilities in the Oxford area.
The race consisted of 75 laps around the Circle on an AmTryke, a three-wheeled cycle provided for by local contributions. Eight teams of three to 10 participants took turns taking laps on the AmTrykes in competition for the title of first place.
Amanda May, director of the Veterans Home, was grateful when she received the call from Ambucs about the event.
“We serve veterans from all wars—some from the Korean War, Vietnam War, and even Desert Storm. We have 150 beds to accommodate veterans for long-term care. We’re really thankful this event is taking place to help out our veterans,” May said.
The tricycles used in Thursday’s race are going to be donated to veterans who have been helped by the Veterans Home.
Jaclyn Falzarano served as the face behind the event. A grad student in the nutrition and exercise science program, Falzarano created the race as her capstone project before graduating in May. Her project took about four months to plan.
“We scheduled the race to take place before Military Appreciation Weekend,” said Falzarano. “The veterans being honored have received tickets to Saturday’s football game.”
For some veterans, it will be their first time in Vaught-Hemingway.
According to Gordon Brigman, Midsouth coordinator for Ambuc, one veteran in attendance lives only 25 miles away from campus but has never stepped foot on it.
Many veterans from the Oxford/Memphis area will be recognized throughout Saturday’s football game against Fresno State. One of the recognitions will be presenting a tricycle to veteran Dan Kline.