The numbers are in and, in 2015, Team Foster raised $17,122 for wounded service members. You’re likely thinking one of two things… 1.) Wow, that’s great! Go Team Foster! OR 2.) Wow, that’s great! Who is Team Foster again?
Well sit back, pour yourself a cold pint from Conshohocken Brewing Company (they’re one of our sponsors), and we’ll fill you in…
Team Foster is the New Jersey-based nonprofit that was founded in 2014 by Nick Liermann. (He’s the 30-something guy with the winning smile and the
winning thinning hair on the homepage of this website.) Nick served on active duty as an Army Captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom and he currently serves as a JAG officer in the US Army Reserve. He launched the organization, dedicated to the rehabilitation of wounded combat veterans, in honor of his friend, Captain Erick Foster, a 29-year-old Pittsburgh native who was killed by insurgent fire in Iraq in 2007. Let’s just say Erick was one of the good ones – courageous man, standup soldier, and loyal friend. You’ll be hearing a lot about him on this blog.
That first year started off with a sophisticated fundraising effort (read: hitting up friends and family for donations via ‘pretty please’-style emails). Then, a group of five riders cycled 100 miles from Philadelphia to Wildwood in what became the first ever Foster 100. The group’s capstone event was born (and it was celebrated with some cold ones, since Erick would have approved).
The Foster 100 happened again last September, only now, 21 riders took on the challenge, and they rode from Philadelphia all the way to Cape May – the very tip of New Jersey’s tide-washed peninsula. With the buzz growing, the group was able to raise the aforementioned $17,122 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that builds Intrepid Spirit Centers, state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment facilities catering to veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and psychological health conditions.
“We are only able to give back to those who serve our nation with contributions like this,” said David Winters, President of the IFHF. “We are so honored to receive this gift that will help our military personnel and their families begin to recover from injuries they sustained in the line of duty.”
We were inspired.
The Team Foster tribe continued spreading the good word, and we continued recruiting supporters from all over the tri-state area. Now, we sponsor these team members when they raise awareness for the cause by participating in athletic events throughout Philly and New Jersey. (No kidding – some of the TF athletes leapt off of a ferry for a triathlon last summer.)
In 2016, as Team Foster prepares for the third annual Foster 100, we’re raising money to partner service dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and related conditions. These funds ensure that the dogs can be obtained, trained, treated and fed – all at no cost to our veterans.
In the meantime, we can’t wait to fill you in on our progress. Watch this space.