November 19, 2014
I am beyond thrilled that I have been named the Honorary Chair for the Capital Campaign to help fund the new ‘SeaLegs’ Adaptive Sailing Program and to be involved with Sail Cape Cod. As a lifelong sailor, and now, someone with a significant physical disability, I believe I am in a unique position to speak to how important a program like ‘SeaLegs’ is to so many.
My particular circumstances have enabled me to continue to get out on my family's sailboat and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of sailing. But unfortunately, that is the exception not the rule. So many of the disabled community don't have that opportunity...the opportunity to gain some freedom and independence, to learn new skills, to participate in a sport. These benefits are immeasurable in their importance. The self-esteem, confidence and feelings of accomplishment that sailing gives to anyone is multiplied infinitely for those of us in the disabled community, where the options to participate in most sports is extremely limited.
As one who went from being a child with no physical limitations to a quadriplegic adult, sailing has always been the best medicine for me. Your generosity can help so many that otherwise would not receive this "medicine". By supporting the ‘SeaLegs’ Adaptive Sailing Program you are not only providing a physical opportunity to sail by outfitting an accessible sailboat, but also the mental and emotional benefits that only the wind, the sun, a sail and the sea can provide.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Laurel E. Labdon, Honorary Chair
‘SeaLegs’ Capital Campaign
Note: Laurel Labdon is a former Miss Wheelchair Massachusetts. Laurel's disability (a C-5, 6 level incomplete spinal cord injury) has not dampened her love of traveling, sailing and enjoying the beauty of Cape Cod. She is empowered by her disability to advocate for disability issues on local, state and national levels.