Michael’s Plan: Row the Boat Ashore

Lake Baldwin (FL) VA Outpatient Clinic (OPC) Recreation Therapist Michael Weaver had a challenge: Integrate the 200-400 veterans per year going through the doors of that facility back into the community. With their medical care in check, Michael is charged with giving the veterans the skills that they need to successfully transition to community life.

Veterans Bruce Mangus (L) and Darryl Evans (R) try out the new rowing machines.

Living in an area dotted with lakes, Michael saw an option: Provide training in a team activity such as rowing so that the veterans could improve their cardiovascular health and upper body strength as well as emotional wellbeing. This could be accomplished by purchasing some rowing machines that would give the veterans the needed opportunity to train to be a viable member of a community rowing club.

The next step for Michael was turning his challenge and his plan into reality for the Lake Baldwin OPC veterans.

Enter HeadPinz and Bowland Bowling Centers. Thanks to their fruitful BVL campaign, three rowing machines were promptly delivered to the OPC veterans. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Viola!

“This BVL grant was just the thing to move our plans from a ‘plan’ to ‘reality’,” notes Michael. “We’ve got the rowing machines on site and our staff is working with the veterans to build their skills. This will have an almost immediate impact on our veterans.” In fact, Michael tells us, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (sponsored in part by BVL) will be in Orlando this month so the veterans will have a chance to test their skills almost immediately!

BVL is committed to provide our nation’s veterans with recreational and therapeutic programs and services to support them in their recuperation.

“Our management, staff and customers at Bowland and Headpinz have illustrated that we are 100% dedicated to the BVL cause. We all want to be there for our veterans who have given so much –we love giving back!” said President Pat Ciniello. “We’re here for the long haul and look forward to Brightening Veterans Lives’ in the months and years ahead.”