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Local organization awarded national grant

This picture is from Joyride Cycle Studio Highwood which fund-raising event was held for GLASA. The modified stationary bikes allowed

This picture is from Joyride Cycle Studio in Highwood, in which a fund-raising event was held for the GLASA. The modified stationary bikes allowed handicapped individuals to use hand pedals. | Mark Ukena~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 29, 2013 2:13AM

The Lake Forest-based Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association has been chosen to receive the Olympic Opportunity Fund.

The GLASA was one of 97 organizations in the U.S. to receive the grant.

The Olympic Opportunity Fund is provided through a partnership between the United States Olympic Committee and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 are provided to USOC partner organizations to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically and visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs.

“Serving both Illinois and Wisconsin, The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association is once again very excited to receive this funding which will enable us to expand our motto of ‘Let No One Sit on the Sidelines’ to our injured veterans,” said Cindy Housner, GLASA founder and executive director.

“These funds will enable us to provide increased outreach, coaching, training, adaptive equipment and competition in Paralympic sports such as archery track, field, paratriathlon, swimming, and power-lifting. GLASA will also work closely with the area VA Medical Centers and other military service organizations to ensure that our returning veterans and their families experience the benefits of adaptive and Paralympic sports.”

“This funding is helping to meet the need for Paralympic and adaptive sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces in communities across the country,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, there were 20 veterans and service members on the U.S. team who accounted for a total of 13 U.S. medals.

“We hope to build on that success at the elite level as well as continue to grow the number of veterans participating in Paralympic and adaptive sport at the grassroots level moving forward.”

“Veterans Affairs is pleased to be partnering again with the USOC to provide funding for these programs,” said Chris Nowak, national director, VA Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. “This support is crucial to the thousands of veteran athletes who are participating and improving their lives along the way.”

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