A Once Impossible Dream is Now Sailing Closer to the Apparent Wind
The once seemingly impossible dream of recreational boating for the adaptive community is now sailing much closer to the apparent wind with the exciting and newly launched partnership between the Shannon River Marine Heritage Foundation and Shake-A-Leg of Miami, Florida, both 501(c)3 organizations.
Shake-A-Leg Miami (SALM), run by co-founder and President, Harry R. Horgan, has been America’s premier, adaptive watersports community since 1991. SALM serves people of all abilities with or without physical, developmental, and economic challenges by providing numerous opportunities for them to enjoy Biscayne Bay through environmental lessons, therapeutic sailing, swimming, & kayaking, and other watersports activities.
The shared passion of Walt Schulz and Harry Horgan of bringing the therapeutic experience of recreational boating to disabled veterans and people with disabilities, as well as their combined experience and resources, will offer an unprecedented opportunity for making the dream of boating, a dream that was once impossible for some, now a dream that can be realized by all.
Shake-A-Leg Miami sailed into South Florida in 1990 from Newport, Rhode Island, after 22-year-old Harry Horgan became paralyzed from an automobile accident. Harry started Shake-A-Leg as a non-profit organization with the idea of helping himself and others maximize their independence. In 1990, Dr. Barth Green, Chief of Neurosurgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital and a co-founder of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, recruited Harry to start a year-round program in South Florida. Since then, Harry has created and overseen an array of rehabilitation, recreation, and educational programs that have served to improve the lives of literally thousands of people. He participated in the design and development of a universally-accessible sailboat called the Freedom Independence and the creation of the Shake-A-Leg Miami Community Watersports Center, a public/private partnership with the City of Miami and a host of community-based organizations.
Today, SALM works in partnership with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and a number of community organizations, federal, state, and local agencies, foundations, and private philanthropists to serve people with disabilities, disadvantaged children and their families, as well as community at large. The Center has become a public gathering place and a Gateway to the Bay and beyond.
Shake-A-Leg Miami's extensive programs include youth programs, summer camps and activities, programs for veterans and adults with disabilities, summer camps and activities, a water sport center and employment opportunities.