"I believe in what CVLC does for veterans."
Rider Tammy Marzik shares why she rides for our vets
After joining The Ride for Our Vets for the first time in 2019, Tammy says the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) team has been talking about coming back all year – even planning on getting team shirts this time around!
She wanted to come back because the Ride is different from other fundraisers: “I’ve participated in several fundraising events, however for me, The Ride has been my most memorable one. Being part of the Ride with my colleagues not only brought us together for a great day outside of our typical working environment, it created another way for us to be part of something that we are all very passionate about, Serving Those Who Served”. (DVA’s Motto)
(L-R) Team DVA: Emily Hein, Tammy Marzik, Commissioner Thomas Saadi, Joe Danao, Ryan McKenna
Tammy Marzik, Manager of Community & Intergovernmental Affairs at the CT DVA, comes from a family of veterans. Although not a veteran herself, her passion for supporting veterans led her to gather her colleagues to join The Ride.
“I wanted to do the Ride because I believe in what CVLC does for veterans. The DVA has collaborated with CVLC for several years as well as being a long standing sponsor of The Ride and I believed it would be great if the DVA actually formed a team to participate in the actual event,” Tammy said.
Though a bit hesitant at first, she ultimately decided to participate and get a team together. Tammy and her colleagues, all of whom are veterans themselves, truly enjoyed the experience. “There are some bikers who you know are “extreme” riders, but we were just regular folks who like to be outdoors, get on a bike and ride,” she said.
The Ride has four different routes so everyone from avid cyclists to casual bikers can enjoy. Tammy said people should join the ride if you enjoy being outdoors, bike riding and being around super positive people who support our veterans.
“You don’t have to be an amazing athlete to participate in The Ride to enjoy it. Anyone who can ride a bike can do this,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have. We all had mountain bikes. And if you don’t have a bike, The Ride can provide one to you on that day.”
I’ve participated in several fundraising events, however for me, The Ride has been my most memorable one.
You don’t have to be an amazing athlete to participate in The Ride to enjoy it. Anyone who can ride a bike can do this.
“Team DVA” raised nearly $3,000 in support for CT veterans last year and that was solely through the teams participation as the DVA also sponsored the event. Tammy wants first time riders to know that fundraising just happens: “Once you get the word out that you’re riding, you start to get excited and share that excitement with those you know in person and on social media. It doesn’t matter how much you raise. Every cent counts and just being part of The Ride is gratifying enough.”
This year, she hopes to take on the challenge of the Ride by tackling the 25-mile route, the Stamford Loop, with “Team DVA” riding next to her. “We just had a really great time. We stayed together during the Ride and hung out afterwards at the BBQ with other riders, sponsors, service providers and veteran supporters. I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.”
The Ride for Our Vets Community welcomes everyone who wants to support veterans. Whether you’re riding the Ten Mile Tour or the Metric Century, your dedication to embracing the challenge makes a difference in the lives of CT veterans.
Contact Kharl if you have questions or if you want to tell us why you ride.