Good Morning, Good Morning! Here’s a little Fri-YAY feel good stuff for you, straight from Love City. This weekend, Low Key Watersports will welcome a group from Servicemembers Undertaking Disabled Sports (SUDS); Veterans who have suffered degrees of disabilities while serving in the military. And, in the true spirit of community support, many other businesses are contributing to making this vacation for veterans an absolutely memorable!
This amazing group of four servicemembers and two assistants will arrive on St. John tomorrow in celebration of Veterans’ week. And, while they are visiting, they will enjoy complimentary diving with St. John’s singular dive shop, Low Key Watersports. The group will also have some free-of-charge fun in the sun on a full day trip with Ocean Runner Power Boat to Lime Out for gourmet tacos and specialty cocktails.
John Thompson, a PADI dive instructor, worked with Low Key Watersports In 1998/1999. He returned to the states and while visiting his wife at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), he encountered some of the injured service men and women. He was compelled to seek service working with these soldiers. Volunteering for the American Red Cross gained him experience and contacts and working with the head of Physical Therapy at Walter Reed, in 2007, John created the first dive program – Service members Undertaking Disabled Sports. And SUDS. was born!
He has worked with hundreds of Veterans since 2007, and taken groups from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Truk Lagoon, Micronesia and Roatan. This is John’s second trip with S.U.D.S. to St. John.
The SUDS program is for service members wounded, ill and injured with a permanent physical disability requiring adaptation. The training offered to the service members is a challenging and rewarding activity which can help facilitate the rehabilitation process and offers them an activity that they can enjoy for years to come.
And the love is overflowing in Love City this week for this group of six who are traveling to St. John this week. Kathee and Edward Kramm have graciously donated their beautiful home, Isla Vista, for rest and relaxation for the group in between their time on the water and some amazing meals donated by local restaurants. The Bonvi Hospitality Group assisted with the group reservation and St. John Car Rental donated a car for the week.
Complimentary dinners will be hosted for the group at High Tide, LaTapa, Lovango Rum Bar, Morgan’s Mango, Raintree Cafe at Cinnamon, The Tap Room and 18.64 The Restaurant. Lunches have been contributed by Cruz Bay Landing, Lime Out, The Beach Bar, North Shore Deli, Sam & Jack’s Deli and Tap & Still. Starfish Market also donated gift cards for groceries. I think you will all agree with me when I say, these folks will be eating well while they are here!
In addition to dining and activities, the servicemembers will each receive a welcome gift basket assembled by Low Key Watersports and including items from the Papaya Cafe, St. John Spice and handmade clay bowls from artist Catherine Perry.
Oh, and if you are a Veteran of any branch of the service, stop by Low Key Dive Shop in Cruz Bay between November 5 and November 12 this week to receive discounts between 25-50% on beach, boat and underwater ready gear!
This is the stuff that I love about this island…A community that is outpouring with generosity to support the well-being of those who need it the most. Have a great weekend everyone. And, next time you are visiting, stop by Low Key to give them a high five for coordinating this awesome trip for SUDS! If you are interested in learning more or supporting the mission of SUDS, visit their website.