Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) cadets from the Philadelphia School District, in conjunction with Doylestown-headquartered nonprofit Twilight Wish Foundation, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the Philadelphia Eagles granted the simple wishes of 120 residents of the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in honor of Veterans Day on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.
Over the past few months, over 700 JROTC cadets from high schools throughout Philadelphia held fundraisers and worked hard to raise money to grant 120 wishes for the veterans. The high schools included South Philadelphia, Roxborough, Strawberry Mansion, Philadelphia Military Academy at Leeds, Elverson, Frankford, Martin Luther King, Bartrum, Overbrook, and Benjamin Franklin. Many of the Veterans’ wishes were for simple items including Bibles, radios, books, a chess set, pajamas, stuffed animals, Eagles hats, and rosaries. Teva Pharmaceuticals, through a collaboration with the Philadelphia Eagles, donated funds to help grant the wishes and also matched the total amount raised by the cadets. A group of JROTC cadets, Twilight Wish staff and volunteers, and Teva representatives visited the center and distributed the gifts during a special luncheon honoring and thanking the Veterans for their sacrifices. Just before the gifts were distributed by the cadets, the Veterans were surprised by a visit from Eagles players Bill Bergey and Chad Hall, Swoop, the Eagles mascot, and two Eagles cheerleaders, thanks to the partnership between Teva and the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We’re only NFL players for so long and anything we can give back is just an awesome feeling,” said Hall. “These Veterans are the real heroes, the reason we are here.”