Freedom to Pursue Happiness fundraiser
When: 11 a.m. Sept. 11
How much: $25
More info: Alan Kindree, 678-697-6566, www.wavetheusaflag.com or www.meetup.com/a++quatics
Alan Kindree made a find of his own while playing host to the Discovery Channel.
The Forsyth County resident offered his pool for the filming of an episode of “The Ultimate Car Build-Off,” in which two Atlanta area automotive garages competed to transform a golf cart into an underwater vehicle.
After the show was filmed, Kindree saw potential in creating his own underwater cart to serve Forsyth Area Sports Teams. The nonprofit organization aims to provide a place for challenged adults and wounded veterans to engage in water sports.
While the cart mainly serves as a unique attraction, it can also make it easier for handicapped people to enjoy the pool.
Local Army veteran Joshua Lindsey has been using the vehicle to help teach scuba lessons to others.
A mortar and sniper attack during a 2005 patrol in Amarah, Iraq, left Lindsey a paraplegic. He was excited to try the vehicle when the Veterans of Foreign Wars put him in touch with Kindree.
“I’d never seen it. I’d never even thought about it before,” Lindsey said. “Who’s heard of a golf cart at the bottom of the pool?”
On Sept. 11, at least three veterans will battle it out on the cart during a game shooting torpedos at underwater targets as part of a fundraiser called Freedom to Pursue Happiness.
Funds raised through the event will go toward sending wounded warriors to the Virgin Islands for water sports and well-deserved vacation time, Kindree said.
Cart drive time and lessons will be available during the event, which will also feature live music and food.
“Our angle is to try to have fun and to try to have something different going on,” Kindree said.
He thinks the underwater vehicle will play a big part in drawing people to the nonprofit and an aquatic fun group he leads online.
The journey began when Kindree, who works as a paramedic on film and television series sets, signed on for the
Discovery Channel’s local filming of the “Build-Off.” When organizers needed a pool, he suggested his own.
During the show’s filming in November, Kindree worked as a safety swimmer while two tricked out underwater golf carts battled for the win.
The episode premiered last week on the Discovery Channel and will next air at 8 p.m. Aug. 28, according to the channel’s Web site.
Kindree may later receive the carts featured in the episode, but until then he’s driving around in his own version.
Of two carts that have been donated to his nonprofit, one has been rigged to drive on the floor of his 12-foot deep pool with underwater windows.
A former swim coach, Kindree had the pool built for a specialized competitive clinic. But when his son was born with Down syndrome in 2001, he changed the focus.
Kindree’s vision is to someday provide a competitive aquatic facility where challenged adults can work and play. His appreciation for veterans led him to add wounded warriors.
Lindsey was the first wounded warrior paid for his scuba work in the pool this month.
“It’s something I’ve always liked to do,” he said. “It’s exhilarating.”