Scott Van Duzer gained a lot of attention from the media after this video of the Obama-hugging Republican went viral.
According to The Huffington Post,
On Monday, Van Duzer appeared on "The Situation Room," explaining to Wolf Blitzer the hug was spontaneous, not staged, as some have alleged. "I guess I got caught up in the moment," Van Duzer said. "I had a brief moment when I knew he was coming. He opened up the door and he was like, 'Where's Scott at?' ... I was just so excited, I just gave him a big hug and picked him up. It was crazy."
Though Van Duzer was taking a chance that Secret Service agents would rush to pry the president from his impressive arms, the entrepreneur made it clear to Blitzer that he did not consider security a deterrent to hugging. "We didn't plan it, we didn't have no communication with the Secret Service about it or anything like that. It was just a genuine moment ... it was an incredible experience." Van Duzer indicated that his ebullience was not an action, but a reaction, saying Obama's "enthusiasm was contagious."
The media also reports that this incident has prompted some Republicans to boycott Van Duzer's restaurant and also sparked bipartisan debates over... some stuff I don't care about anymore.
What I AM interested in is this - Van Duzer's work in raising awareness for blood donations and the fact that he founded The Van Duzer Foundation.
Here is some information from the home page of The Van Duzer Foundation's website. Visit the link at the bottom to find out more.
The mission of the Van Duzer Foundation is to assist families and individuals in St. Lucie County Florida, who are experiencing financial and personal hardship brought about by unforeseen crisis or tragedy.
A couple of years ago, our founder, Scott Van Duzer, learned about two little boys in desperate need of blood to combat different types of cancer. Because of a shortage of blood, one of the boys had to wait nine hours in an emergency room for life-saving blood to arrive. This was more than Scott could bear, and he challenged the Van Duzer Foundation board to host a blood drive, partnering with Florida’s Blood Centers. Over 300 pints was collected at the first drive, which was followed up shortly thereafter with the inaugural Be a Hero Day, which garnered over 1,000 pints of blood. The Foundation has encouraged and hosted several drives since, and a total of over 5,500 pints of blood has been collected. Since each blood donation is separated into components, such as red blood cells, platelets and plasma, the blood collected through the Van Duzer Foundation has impacted over 15,000 people!
This year, the Van Duzer Foundation is delighted to partner with a number of wonderful local businesses and organizations to present Be a Hero Day 2012 on Wednesday, November 14th. Among those who will be rolling up sleeves and encouraging staff, customers, and community to donate together to save lives will be sixty teams comprised of businesses, clubs, organizations, and groups in the community who want to help raise awareness about the importance of donating blood, including last year’s Be a Hero Day Blood Bowl winner, Indian River State College.
For the past four years, the Van Duzer Foundation has found unique ways for everyone to positively impact the community and has raised and donated over $650,000 to St. Lucie County residents in need. The Foundation is equally committed to saving lives through the donation of the most important natural resource – life. We’d love for you to consider participating in this year’s Be a Hero Day Blood Drive on Wednesday, November 14th. Whether you come as a team to donate blood, or whether you come as an individual to give back to the community and honor the memory or courage of someone you know who has needed blood, we welcome your participation and support. Each of us has the power to become a hero – let’s celebrate that and show the world that St. Lucie County is full of heroes. For additional information on how you can become involved call Scott Van Duzer at (772) 528-346
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Source: The Van Duzer Foundation.