Wounded veterans benefit from Boll Weevil 100Matt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Mar 27 2014 3:32 PM
With the 12th Annual Boll Weevil 100 coming up May 10, cyclists may be anticipating the thrill of competition, the benefit of a challenging fitness workout and the beauty of the landscape as they pedal through Coffee County.
Cyclists say they enjoy riding for a variety of reasons, describing the experience as providing a sense of freedom, accomplishment and the simple relationship between the rider, the bike and road.
Enterprise Lions Club President Billy Powell said the Boll Weevil 100 is certainly about all that, and much more.
The uniqueness of the Enterprise event is its connection to the Lions Club’s Wounded Veterans Project, which is done in cooperation with the Army’s Warrior Transition Command and its transition units in the Southeast.
The project enables recovering veterans, despite their possible disabilities, to participate in the ride. Donations from the community to help the wounded veterans are used to purchase special equipment such as three-wheeled recumbent bikes to accommodate the physical needs of the veterans, and to fund their visit to Enterprise.
Wounded Veterans Project Steering Committee co-chairman Conrad Stempel said Lions see the ride as an opportunity to help those who have made tremendous, life-changing sacrifices for their country. Through the ride, Lions hope to enrich the lives of wounded veterans through social and physical activity as they transition from combat into civilian life.
“It’s a joy to see them enjoying themselves and feeling a sense of achievement when they finish their course,” Stempel said.
Stempel expects the Boll Weevil 100 to host the largest number of wounded veterans ever this year.
Last year, 48 wounded veterans attended the ride, along with about 30 accompanying family members. Because the ride usually falls on the Mother’s Day weekend, Enterprise Lions are happy that the event now also reaches out to family members so that the wounded veterans can be with their loved ones and still participate in the ride. The veterans also benefit from the support of the family members who cheer on their cycling efforts.
The Enterprise Lions Club established the Boll Weevil 100 in 2002, and 2014 will mark the fourth year that the Wounded Veterans Project has been a part of the growing cycling event. More and more wounded or recovering veterans are coming each year, and Lions thank local businesses and community members for the donations and sponsorships that make it possible.
Anyone who would like to sponsor a wounded veteran or veterans may register online at www.EnterpriseLionsClub.com, or contact Conrad Stempel at 334-447-9285, Chuck Seitz at 334-477-3348, or any Lions Club member. Sponsorships are $35 each. The Lions Club program is not affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project. Money raised for the Wounded Veterans Project, which is led by the Lions Club and conducted by community volunteers, goes directly to make purchases and providing funding for wounded veterans.