Meet Don McLaughlin (center). He is a resident of Evergreen Grove in Otter Lake, Michigan, an avid sportsman and retired Marine. As Director of Sports and Recreation for Wheelin’ Team 457, Don is dedicated to the idea that all people should be able to pursue the activities they love. He works to connect people with resources and adapted sporting events that enable them to participate despite physical barriers. The goal of Wheelin’ Team, Don says, is to “get people off their butts and active!”
Across Michigan and in parts of Ohio, he coordinates competitive activities for athletes including adaptive equipment and enough volunteers to keep events competitive yet open to a spectrum of abilities.
He and the Team participated in a 4-day adapted hunt last October that included athletes from all over the State. The hunt was sponsored by Ray C’s Extreme Sports and AdvisaCare Home Health Care and had 23 hunters with conditions such as spinal cord injury, amputation, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy using adaptive equipment such as sip-n-puff trigger pulls and stands to operate shot-guns and bows and arrows. They rode with volunteers on ATVs and maneuvered 4-wheel-drive wheelchairs at various hunting sites throughout lower Michigan. It was a successful hunt that harvested a total of 8 deer- 3 bucks and 5 does- and yielded many more great stories. At the end of the 4-days, there was a dinner reception at the Lions Club Bear Lake Camp in Lapeer, MI. including an awards ceremony where every hunter gladly shared their tales.
This was an opportunity to take part in the traditional hunting season that makes up Michigan’s heritage and was just one of the many programs athletes (and the casual sportsman) can access in order to get out there and be active. For more information and to get in touch with Don and Wheelin’ Team 457, visit the website at www.wheelinteam457.net or call (810) 210-6910.
AdvisaCare is a proud sponsor and supporter of Wheelin’ Team 457