In 2015 the Metro 10 race partnered with Orleans County Hospice’s Pet Peace of Mind program . This year’s and future events will benefit a new charitable endeavor, The Warrior House of WNY, a 501c3 that is also responsible for oversight of the race funds.
Here is a story about the founding of the charity that appeared on The Orleans Hub
By Thom Jennings, Correspondent Posted 14 July 2015
MEDINA – Not long after Peter Zeliff Jr. purchased a property on Salt Works Road in Medina, he began thinking about how to combine his love of hunting with a ministry and outreach.
Empire Tractor salesperson and avid outdoorsman, Joe Pionessa connected Zeliff with Michael Grasso of the Batavia Assembly of God Church, and soon the pair began working in concert with Chappy’s Outdoors to schedule two fall hunting outings on the property.
“I was trying to figure out what to do with the property and Joe told me what these guys were doing and it seemed to make sense,” Zeliff said.
Owen Zeliff moves a wheelbarrow load of stuff during a cleanup day on Saturday.
Chaplain Jeremiah Catlin, who is also an Iraqi veteran, founded Chappy’s Outdoors in 2008. Grasso heard Catlin speak about his ministry that helps returning veterans and began coordinating local Hunting With Warriors hunts.
“Catlin founded the organization as a ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and to connect with returning veterans, and support them when they come home and help them reconnect with their families,” Grasso said. “A lot of these guys like to hunt; we have 200 veterans waiting to join one of our hunts.”
Each of the veterans will have someone assigned to them. Grasso, a veteran himself, noted that returning veterans have to be “angry enough to kill” while in the military and return home with anxiety and have a difficult readjusting to civilian life.
Zeliff, Grasso and a group of volunteers made up of friends, family members and a group from the Akron Free Methodist Church spent a few hours cleaning up the buildings on the property. The property once hosted fowl hunts that drew people from all over the country. Remnants of the sites glory days includes a faded picture of Jim Kelly from when he hunted the property.
While there is still plenty of work to do on the property, two hunts that will host a total of 20 veterans are already scheduled on the site that is now dubbed “The Warrior House.” They are slated for Sept. 10-13 and Oct. 29 – Nov. 1. By next year the group plans to double the amount of veterans.
For information on how you can volunteer or any other questions you may contact Peter Zeliff Jr. at 585 590-0278 (voice or text) email firstname.lastname@example.org.