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Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, left, meets with Lakeshore Foundation CEO John D. Kemp on Nov. 15, 2022.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, left, meets with Lakeshore Foundation CEO John D. Kemp on Nov. 15, 2022. (Greg Garrison/AL.com)

(Tribune News Service) — Lakeshore Foundation announced this week that U.S. military veterans qualify for free membership at its 45-acre campus in Homewood, thanks to new funding from the state.

Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who is chairman of the Military and Stability Commission, said the state legislature provided a grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state’s general fund to underwrite military membership at Lakeshore.

“What this is going to do for veterans - this is such an impressive facility - It’s getting veterans engaged,” Ainsworth told AL.com. “This grant’s not only for veterans but also their families. It’s just part of our goal to be the most military and veteran friendly state in the country.”

There are more than 377,000 U.S. veterans living in Alabama, according to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.

“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 President and CEO John D. Kemp said in a written statement. “Lakeshore’s expert staff deliver engaging activities including cycling, shooting, archery, golf, wheelchair basketball and pickleball.”

Lakeshore Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves people with a physical disability or chronic health condition, helping them stay active through physical activity.

“Just as important as the activities is the strong sense of community created through Lakeshore Foundation’s programs,” Kemp said. “All veterans and their families deserve a place to exercise, as well as rejuvenate their minds, hearts and bodies.”

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