February 4, 2015 (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
AMA racer Peter Cline, recipient of the 2015 AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award, started VETMotorsports as a non-clinical outreach program to empower disabled combat veterans and support them in their continued healing. Cline, from Columbus, Ohio, and VETMotorsports have generated significant positive publicity for motorcycling, honoring the award's namesake, Hall of Famer Hazel Kolb.
A statement from VETMotorsports CEO and Founder Peter Cline:
“Our mission at VETMotorsports is to empower disabled combat veterans and support them in their continued healing. There are many parallels between being involved in a race team and being deployed; a sense of purpose, adrenaline, shared experiences, wearing a uniform and teamwork. These are items that wounded veterans miss once out of the service.This award means so much to us because VETMotorsports partnership with the AMA has allowed the program to reach over 45 veterans plus caregivers in 2014. We are currently losing 22 veterans a day to suicide, and our ability to facilitate this program is affecting the lives of our participants in a positive way.
The core concept of this program is twofold. One is to collaborate with organizations, such as the AMA, to create an complete experience for the veteran and caregiver that is unique and fulfilling. VETMotorsports provides hands-on activities that uses the event to propel the veteran forward emotionally and physically. Second, VETMotorsports recreates the excitement that we felt when we first started racing motorcycles. Over the course of time being at the track can feel routine; but to a participant not exposed to racing it's a whole new world. VETMotorsports is providing and sharing the opportunities to those in need, all the time being respectful of the participants sacrifice to our country.
As VETMotorsports continues to grow and now have a wait list for future participants, and it wouldn't have happened without the AMA community’s unwavering support for our military veterans. On behalf of the VETMotorsports Board of Directors, my family, our donors, volunteers, the teams, veteran service organizations and veterans who took a risk with us, I proudly accept the 2015 Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award.”
To learn about or donate to VETMotorsports please visit them on the web at www.vetmotorsports.org or follow them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/VETMotorsports, Twitter @VETMotorsports or Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/VETMotorsports/
The American Motorcyclist Association media release can be found here: http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/news/rightsnews/15-02-04/American_Motorcyclist_Association_announces_recipients_of_2015_AMA_Awards.aspx