HERNDON, Va., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of Applebee's national Veterans Day campaign to recognize and honor active, retired and wounded service members, Potomac Family Dining Group, owner and operator of over 67 Applebee's Grill & Bar® restaurants in the Greater Washington, D.C., Richmond, Shenandoah Valley, and Hampton Roads areas hosted a flapjack breakfast to benefit Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
The two-day event in November rallied the community to come out and support veterans, including fire and police departments across multiple cities. Many local supporters bought and donated tickets so local veterans could attend and enjoy breakfast and camaraderie with their fellow service members. Additionally, several WWP Alumni volunteered at the event, supporting other veterans and embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another.
"The morning of the flapjack fundraiser breakfast, I had the chance to sit with two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni and was truly touched by their stories of bravery and honored that they shared their morning with us," said Jim Ilaria, CEO of Potomac Family Dining Group, owner, and operator of 67 Applebee's throughout the Mid-Atlantic. "The sacrifices they and our country's Wounded Warriors have made on our behalf are immeasurable. I am so incredibly proud of our team's contribution to the ongoing support that Wounded Warrior Project provides."
The event successfully raised over $80,000 for WWP, which will support the 20 free, life-saving programs and services offered by WWP. Two such programs are WWP's Independence Program (IP) and Long-Term Support Trust (LTST), which are designed to help injured service members and veterans living with moderate-to-severe brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or other neurological conditions. For many injured veterans returning home from conflict, they discover the help they thought they would receive doesn't begin to cover what they will need throughout their lifetime recovery process. Without this life-saving support, these seriously wounded veterans are at risk for institutionalization.
"Since the inception of Independence Program and Long-Term Support Trust, WWP has committed more than $110 million to these services," said Gary Corless, executive vice president of Strategic Giving at WWP. "Because of generous donors like Applebee's, we have the resources to ensure that the most seriously injured veterans can live as rewarding and independent lives as possible at no cost to them, for life."
Since 2003, WWP has evolved its programs and services to meet the growing needs of the constituency it serves. Currently, WWP provides support to more than 81,000 injured service members and over 14,000 caregivers and family support members. WWP listens to our Alumni and responds to the needs they have. The 2015 annual Alumni Survey captured the views of more than 23,000 injured service members. Among the key findings:
- Nearly four out of every five warriors surveyed have a friend who was seriously wounded or killed in action
- 75 percent report the memory of an upsetting military experience that has haunted them in the past month
- More than 42 percent report having a traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- The top five reported injuries and health problems experienced during post-9/11 service are 1) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 2) sleep conditions, 3) back, neck, and shoulder problems, 4) depression, and 5) anxiety
Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP's vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. To see the full results from the 2015 annual WWP Alumni Survey, download the report here: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission/what-our-alumni-say.aspx?utm_source=wwporg&utm_medium=home-image&utm_content=little-meaning&utm_campaign=2015survey.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
Applebee's is the world's largest casual dining chain, with more than 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Applebee's offers a lively bar & grill experience with an array of flavorful, hand-crafted drinks, appetizers and entrees that constantly evolve. Applebee's Grill & Bar® restaurants are franchised by DineEquity, Inc.
About Potomac Family Dining Group
Potomac Family Dining Group (www.potomacdining.com) owns and operates 67 Applebee's Grill & Bar® restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina. Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., Potomac is focused on delivering a personalized, fun, friendly, carefree dining experience. Potomac Family Dining is also dedicated to ensuring that each location is reflective of its neighborhood and provides local residents, business professionals and travelers with a true neighborhood grill and bar experience.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project