Marquette group goals to make open air accessible | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

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Jamie Glenn, advocate for the Superior Alliance for Independent Living Disability, tests the new Action Trackchair that SAIL recently purchased. The chair allows people with limited mobility to navigate any outdoor terrain. (Photo courtesy of Lora Kinnunen)

MARQUETTE – The Upper Peninsula is known for its wide variety of outdoor activities. The region has no shortage of hiking, skiing, hunting and fishing opportunities. However, UP residents with limited physical mobility do not always have access to these recreational opportunities.

That’s why the Superior Alliance for Independent Living in Marquette recently acquired an Action Trackchair.

“The Action Track Chair will enable our consumers to actively participate in events in terrain previously inaccessible to them,” Julie Shaw, Managing Director of SAIL, said.

Described as the first of its kind, the Action Trackchair is an all-terrain chair that works like an electric wheelchair, but instead of tires, the Trackchair has large, beefy rails that allow the user to navigate most types of terrain to navigate with ease.

“This purchase was made possible by generous donations from our community through our One in Five Annual Appeal, online donations and support of our annual Corn Hole Tournament.” said Shaw. “This was one of the late Sarah Peurakoski’s dreams for our consumers, and it has finally come true.”

SAIL determines the use of the chair for Single Point Activities for Recreation or SPAR. SPAR is a health and wellness program operated by SAIL. SPAR is committed to ensuring that accessibility is at the forefront of all activities by working with community bodies to organize activities to encourage active, restful lifestyles. SPAR has been part of SAIL since 2009.

The chair will also be available as part of the UP Vets Served program. Served aims to create a positive and supportive environment for veterans that encourages socialization. SAIL says it’s his mission at SERVED “Foster camaraderie by allowing individuals to discuss events only our veterans can understand and identify obstacles only they face.”

SAIL is a Marquette-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled residents of UP, helping them lead independent lives and encouraging them to become active members of the communities in which they live.

SAIL is currently the only independent living center in the UP and one of fifteen throughout the state of Michigan. It offers a variety of services and programs throughout the UP and strives to promote accessibility for every UP resident.

SPAR offers monthly events and activities designed to help create a greater sense of community.

Dances, game nights and other events that have a positive impact on the community, such as the Marquette Earth Day cleanup scheduled for April 21.

For a full schedule of SPAR events, along with links on how to donate to the organization, visit the SAIL website at www.upsail.org.

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