Veterans can now qualify for free membership at Lakeshore Foundation’s 45-acre campus in Homewood, the nonprofit announced this week.
In 2003, Lakeshore was recognized as an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.
In 2006, as a response to the significant number of men and women acquiring injuries from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lakeshore Foundation formalized its long-held commitment to veterans with the establishment of Operation Lima Foxtrot.
Lakeshore Foundation President and CEO John Kemp said the program is a sign of the nonprofit’s dedication to those who have served the nation in uniform.
“This new program reflects our deep commitment to veterans and builds on our efforts to support the overall well-being of our veterans through recreation, athletics, fitness, and aquatics. Lakeshore’s expert staff deliver engaging activities including cycling, shooting, archery, golf, wheelchair basketball, and pickleball,” said Kemp. “Lakeshore has also been instrumental in supporting and providing its expertise to injured military-focused sporting events like Invictus Games, Valor Games and Paralyzed Veterans of America camps.”
At no cost, Lima Foxtrot offers camps and programs for injured military and their families from across the country. Additionally, Lakeshore established Operation Endurance, which offered free Lakeshore memberships to local veterans with a service-connected disability.
Lakeshore provides opportunities for veterans to live a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, research, advocacy, and health promotion.
Programs are inclusive of veterans with and without physical disabilities including fitness, aquatics, and recreational activities.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who was on hand for the announcement, touched on the efforts of the Legislature to make the program a possibility.
“There is nothing more important to me than supporting the needs of our veterans here in Alabama and across the U.S.,” said Ainsworth. “We worked with Alabama legislators to create and fund this grant so that every veteran household qualifies for a free membership to Lakeshore Foundation.”
Lakeshore has become an internationally renowned organization, serving more than 4,000 people annually through physical activity, sports, recreation, advocacy, policy, and research.
As an Olympic and Paralympic training site, Lakeshore strengthens its commitment to the development of para sports. The creation of a research program, an advocacy department and the Lima Foxtrot program are further examples of Lakeshore’s mission and vision.
“Just as important as the activities is the strong sense of community created through Lakeshore Foundation’s programs,” said Kemp. “All veterans and their families deserve a place to exercise, as well as rejuvenate their minds, hearts and bodies.”
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL