WEST SAND LAKE — On Veteran’s Day, the grand opening of the STRIDE Health and Recreation Education (SHARE) Center took place at the STRIDE headquarters in West Sand Lake. For the first time in Capital Region history, the newly renovated SHARE Center now functions as the premiere adaptive sports and fitness community center and gym. Many well-respected New York elected officials joined the CEO of STRIDE, Mary Ellen Whitney, in cutting the ribbon in honor of the official opening, including US Congressman Antonio Delgado, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, Assemblyman John McDonald, Assemblyman Jake Ashby, and several others. The generous support and donations from members of the Capital Region played a significant role in the final stages of completion, and without such backing the SHARE Center would not have been possible.
The major SHARE Center donors included: American National Insurance, Architectural Glass & Metal, STRIDE Board of Directors, Bonded Cement, Alexander Butcherblock, Crawford Door & Window Sales, Hynes Family Foundation, Keller Williams Realty, Kurt Butenhoff Family Foundation, Frank Wicks, GE Veteran’s Network, GE Healthcare, Homiack Brothers Plumbing, Farm Family Insurance, Frank Wicks, Paul O’Leary Family, Phillips Hardware, RA Hunsdorfer Foundation, Regeneron, Studio Seven Architects, Team Rubicon, Troy Sand and Gravel, the UPS Foundation, and Wilson Brothers Heating & Cooling. Thank you to the many volunteers and companies that kindly volunteered their time and resources! STRIDE programs continue to be instrumental facets in the lives of the individuals they serve, and your support plays a significant part in this.
The SHARE Center now offers an extension of STRIDE’s current program amenities, designed with a wheelchair accessible elevator and two ADA-compliant bathrooms. The multi-program space and adaptive fitness gym provides athletes with an innovative exercise space and allows STRIDE to offer new wellness programs. Additionally, the wounded warrior/family lounge as well and additional training and conference spaces plan to host organizations that provide services like career training, chemical and addiction dependency counseling, and fitness and nutrition education. As indicated by the statement made on the community’s behalf, the opening of the SHARE Center emphasized how welcomed and cherished people with disabilities are in the Capital Region. “After years of research and dedication to perfecting this project, it finally came to fruition” said Mary Ellen Whitney, the Founder and CEO of STRIDE. “The exponential growth for adaptive sports and equality carried us to the next level of being able to serve our constituents with life changing experiences.”
The remarkable patronage STRIDE received in response to the SHARE Center’s vision of inclusion and equal opportunity was inspirational! The progressive contributions made by local families and businesses enabled STRIDE to better connect with groups and individuals throughout the Capital Region by delivering opportunities for engagement and participation in recreational activities. The SHARE Center has made the Capital Region a more inclusive and accessible community for underserved individuals.