WATERVILLE — Care & Comfort’s Waterville branch recently selected the Travis Mills Project as the recipient of its semi-annual Jean Fund campaign, according to a Care & Comfort press release.

During an employee gathering, Dean LaChance, executive director of the Bread of Life Ministries, partnered with Crista and Joel Lavenson, owners of Camp Kennebec, to create an adaptive recreation center for veterans and their families at Camp Kennebec, in Belgrade, relayed the history of the project and gave an update about its progress.

The National Veterans Recreation Center was a dream for one of only five quadruple amputee survivors from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Travis Mills. His dream has now become a reality, and veterans with disabilities from across the country will have the opportunity to enjoy a fully accessible, multi-season recreational facility for a family vacation or respite. The center, the only one of its kind in the country, has five cabins, a dining hall, theater, lodge and yoga center all of which have been retrofitted to provide full accessibility. Access to the land and water is possible via boardwalks over uneven ground and a specially designed tram system. Future plans include purchasing adaptive equipment that will enable guests to enjoy tennis, archery, golf and other sports. Project leaders also wish to make the camp available year round and hope to establish a scholarship endowment fund to enable veterans and their families to attend the camp free of financial concerns.

“As a Maine company with hundreds of employees and thousands of clients, we are all too aware that many, many veterans and their families have been severely affected by the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our employees wanted to acknowledge them, express their appreciation and provide support to those facing so many challenges in a unique, long-lasting way,” said Susan D. Giguere Care & Comfort’s CEO and Founder. in the release. “Once again our staff has demonstrated its commitment to improving lives by supporting an organization whose mission is to unite veterans and their families with the land, the water, nature, and each other; be united, enriched and inspired; and learn they can still enjoy the activities that revitalize the courage and the confidence to keep moving forward. Giving back to our neighbors and communities is a hallmark of Care & Comfort and our employees. I am so pleased with the selection of the Travis Mills Project as the most recent recipient of our Jean Fund and am looking forward to meeting some of America’s courageous families as they enjoy some time at Camp Kennebec.”

This donation was made possible through proceeds from Care & Comfort’s Jean Day campaign, which was launched more than 12 years ago. An ongoing collaborative fundraising effort between Care & Comfort and its employees, Jean Day lets staff leave their normal work attire at home and wear jeans on Fridays for a $2 donation. The company matches every dollar raised and the employees of each branch select the local recipients’ semi- annually.

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