Cluster Busters

Charley Wright

The St. Louis VA National Veterans Boccia Team “Cluster Busters” traveled to Chicago this December to compete in the Boccia Regional Tournament. There were over 60 athletes who competed in the two day competition. With only four of our team members able to travel, we brought home two gold, one silver and one bronze. Cluster Busters had a total of 30 individual competitions with only four of those came with a loss. Doug Barnes BC5 Gold, Rose Ganz Open Silver, Lou Monken Open Bronze and Joey Avellone also comes home with a gold and went undefeated during the match and will travel with the USA Boccia Team to Montreal Canada this spring. We are very proud of our Cluster Busters Boccia Team and look forward to an exciting 2017. 

Georgia Aquarium

Charley Wright

Members of the Gateway PVA Chapter and other disabled veterans from all around the USA descended upon Atlanta, Georgia to dive and snorkel at the Georgia Aquarium. The St. Louis VA SCI Recreation Therapy Department and LifeWaters (non-profit disabled scuba foundation) participate in the “Veterans Immersion Program” twice a year in Atlanta. This year over 60 disabled veterans, family members and volunteer dive staff took part of the veterans’ weekend this past November. Veterans and family members receive first class treatment throughout the weekend from the aquarium staff and their volunteer dive teams. Family members have the opportunity to not only get private tours but also have the perfect picture moments to see their loved ones scuba diving and snorkeling with four whale sharks and various other salt water creatures from all around the world. With over 6+ millions of gallons of water to play in, our veterans have life changing moments coming face to face with whale sharks that measure over 20 feet in length and manta rays who have wing spans of over 15 feet. If you are interested in participating next year, we will be traveling in the spring and again in the fall for 2017. Contact Charley Wright SCI Recreation Therapist/Adaptive Scuba Instructor for more information.

Y4 Trout Lodge

Trout Lodge was action-packed! Jefferson Barracks Recreation Therapists Charley Wright and Matt Luitjohan did a spectacular job organizing the event!

Photos courtesy of Noel Dillard