On Saturday, June 17, Blue Chip Hotel Casino Spa hosted its second annual “Breaking Down the Barriers: Salute to our Veterans” event to help address the needs of veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as the needs of the families who support them.
Jack Elia, Assistant General Manager at Blue Chip Casino, helped organize the event to highlight resources and services available to veterans and their loved ones.
“The mission of this event was to raise awareness of PTSD in the veteran community,” said Elia. “Blue Chip Casino was proud to host its second annual veterans’ event and share information about programs and services available in Northwest Indiana that teach our communities about PTSD and how we can support veterans affected by it.”
The veterans’ event kicked off with a police-escorted motorcycle ride fundraiser. Individuals who purchased motorcycle rides cruised through Michigan City. with local law enforcement. Riders had the opportunity to stop at the Washington Park memorial honoring Private First Class Daniel D. Bruce, a Michigan City resident who was killed in action in during the Vietnam War in 1969.
From noon to 4 p.m., attendees visited with various vendors at the Veterans’ Vendor Fair at Blue Chip, featuring 20 veterans’ organizations, service providers and more. At the fair, veterans and their families were connected to programs and services that could assist them in the areas of health, housing, training and coping with PTSD.
Following the fair was dinner at Blue Chip Casino’s Orleans Ballroom. During the dinner, representatives from local agencies spoke about the work they do to support veterans. To close the dinner, Army veteran Bryan Adams, a Purple Heart recipient, shared his personal stories about his service in Iraq and managing PTSD.
Proceeds from the event benefitted community agencies and programs that offer PTSD support services, including Guardian Riders, Porter-Starke Services, Operation Combat Bikesaver, Empowering Patriots, LaPorte County Veterans Treatment Court, Housing Opportunities and Mission 22.
“Boyd Gaming and Blue Chip Casino are proud to donate all proceeds from this event to local agencies and community programs that focus on helping veterans living with PTSD,” said Elia. “By continuing to work together to serve our veterans, we can help them break down barriers and overcome the challenges of PTSD.”