Lakeland bagpipes prompt giving spree
A Lakeland Kroger customer happened upon Scott Fuller in the grocery parking lot and asked Fuller “to show some knee.” In return, the customer gave Fuller a check in the amount of $1000. Sometimes things are just not what they appear. Fuller and the many eye-witnesses, far from being mortified by the request, were ecstatic. Fuller lifted his kilt and played the Marine Hymn on his bagpipes. The performance was a fundraiser in June for the American Business Club (AMBUCS) bike program.
AMBUCS is an organization whose mid-south coordinator, Gordan Brigman, works with the veteran hospital to supply bikes to disabled veterans. Veterans, who have lost limbs or full use of limbs during military service and are in need of an opportunity to be engaged in an active lifestyle.
Fuller, representing the Sgt W.K. Singleton Detachment of the Marine Corps League, and other members of the detachment, was assisting AMBUCS to raise donations to purchase therapy bikes for at least two disabled veterans. For two days they collected donations at the Kroger Store on Hwy 64 east of I-40 in Lakeland. The response and generosity shown by the customers of the store was overwhelming. The funds donated will allow AMBUCS to purchase all six bikes that the local VA Hospital requested for disabled veterans who signed up for the program. The cost of one bike is about $750, depending on the configuration needed to fit a disability. While the group was hoping to fund two bikes, the group raised more than $2400 the first day and over $2900 the second day. The total was enough to fund seven bikes. This is good news to the veterans on the waiting list for bikes.
The therapeutic value of the bikes is wonderful. Disabled veterans sometimes self-conscious and shy due to injuries, are able to regain participation in an outdoor activity and interact with others.
The Kroger employees came out to help the volunteers too.
“The Kroger employees kept bringing us snacks and cold drinks,” proclaimed Gordan Abernathie, League member. “We thought the store was sending them out. It was the employees who were buying them for us.”
So that when one of the Marine bagpipers wearing his kilt was challenged to "show a knee" and play the "Marines Hymn," the piper, Fuller quickly complied. The lady making the request wrote out a check to AMBUCS as her donation. She thanked all for their service and left.
“This kind of support for the troops is wonderful,” said Abernathie. “The Kroger customers’ response and generous giving was a grand slam for our veterans. Well Done guys!”
AMBUCS, the Sgt. W.K. Singleton detachment of the Marine League, and the piper all returned in July to thank the Kroger customers, Kroger employees and store manager, Michelle Guzzo with another show of men in skirts. While donations were not solicited at the July show, several customers asked if they could donate online. For more information or to donate to the AmTryke Veteran Cycle program, please visit ambucs.org.