On June 19, Matt Wilson stepped down as President of LifeWaters and nominated Gary Bufalo as president. We are proud to announce Gary Bufalo has been voted in as the new President of LifeWaters as of June 19, 2018.
Matt has been with LifeWaters since the beginning. Because of Matt’s work, LifeWaters has received grants, sponsors and various support which has been key in establishing the very foundation from which LifeWaters now thrives.
Matt not only was instrumental in helping to establish the foundation and funding of this unique aqua therapy program, but he has also been hands on throughout his service from everything to developing new strategies supporting growth and sustainability of LW to being a personal scubility dive buddy when needed.
We are very fortunate that Matt will still serve on the board and assist LifeWaters as it develops through the next stages of growth. Rest assured, Matt will continue to play an intricate part in LifeWaters moving forward.
Matt, LifeWaters greatly appreciates what you have done for the spinal cord injured community. Your dedication and love for this organization has been unmatched and while your leadership will be missed, we are excited to support your choice of Gary Bufalo as your successor.
Gary Bufalo brings new energy and insight to LifeWaters. He has been working tirelessly with sponsors and media outlets to promote LifeWaters since joining the board last year. His accomplishments for LifeWaters have already proven his skill and dedication to be one of a leader and friend not only to everyone on the board but to our divers as well. Gary has already successfully negotiated an agreement with Bass Pro Aquarium to secure a new dive location for our cause. We believe Gary has a lot to offer LifeWaters and we are excited to see where his guidance will take us as we continue forward.
Thank you to both Matt and Gary for your efforts and dedication to our organization and for your continuing support to the spinal cord injured community.
LifeWaters has a lot things going on this summer on top of training. I thought I would share some upcoming events. Feel free to check out lifewaters.org for more info.
LifeWaters to Bonaire June 2-9
LifeWaters is taking its annual trip this year to Bonaire in the Caribbean. LifeWaters will be taking 14 adaptive divers and over 50 family and support divers. This is LifeWaters first coordinated trip to Bonaire. We would like to thank everyone for their assistance. We hope to make this trip a memorable one and add it to our rotation of dive spots for LifeWaters.
LifeWaters goes to Bass Pro Aquarium in Springfield, Mo June 21
Bass Pro invites LifeWaters to dive in the Bass Pro Aquarium in Springfield, Mo. We are super excited to have a location close to home for our adaptive divers to experience a wonderful adventure. Local TV media and Bass Pro will be filming the experience. Super excited, Email us directly at email@example.com or call us at 314-309-6202 for more information.
LifeWaters Presents at National Wheelchair Games July 30 – Aug 4
LifeWaters with have a booth at the National Wheelchair Games in Orlando, Florida this July \ August. LifeWaters will have volunteers presenting our mission and goals. We are looking forward to a wonderful time and enjoying the games. Be sure to stop by and say hi!
Email Gary Bufalo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-309-6202 for more information.
LifeWaters and OSCAR Mike’s Veteran National Quad Rugby Team to Cozumel Sept 1-8
LifeWaters pairs up with the PVA to take the National Para Rugby Team scuba diving on one of the most beautiful dive spots in the world. LifeWaters will be working to train 6 of the rub-bee team players prior to the trip. This is an awesome opportunity for our divers to have a memorable adventure! Thank You PVA for this opportunity to serve!
Email Gary Bufalo at email@example.com or call 314-309-6202 for more information.
LifeWaters Mouse Race
Join us Sept 22 for our mouse race fundraising event in downtown St. Louis. Come hang out and meet the LifeWaters team and candidates. While you watch the race, have a chat and listen to some stories over some food and drinks. Oh, and by the way, the scenery should be great.
Saturday, September 22 from 6 pm – 9 pm.
Crestwood Elks Lodge 10261 Bauer RD, St. Louis Mo 63128
Looking forward to seeing you there!
After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the back-to- back days of deals,
join us in kicking off the holiday giving season on
On this global day of giving, we’re raising $5,000 to give divers with disabilities the life-changing gift of Scuba. In the United States, 34.2 million people, or 17.5%, have a functional limitation.
A Lifewaters diver shared his experience..
“My back! OMG my back! There’s no pain! for the first time since I woke up from my coma my back didn’t hurt! It was the most amazing feeling, or lack of feeling in the world! To this day the water is the only place I can go to be pain free.”
Ways to gear up for Giving Tuesday:
- Donate to lock in your gift
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exciting updates
Share this message with friends and family and encourage them to join the movement.
We’ve got less than one week left until one historic day of giving.
Let’s do this!
Or simply click DONATE on www.lifewaters.org.
LifeWaters is proud to announce, in conjunction with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, our first hosted “Hero Dive”.
At the end of June 2017, LifeWaters will be descending off the Key West coast with 5 spinal cord injured veterans to include Joe (who also suffers from ALS), 6 Navy Seals and 7 LifeWaters Dive Buddies.
Joe reached out to LifeWaters and SCI Recreation Therapist, Charley Wright to share his dream of diving in the blue waters of the Caribbean with his wife and daughter before his condition worsens. Over the course of the last couple of months, Joe received medical clearance for scuba training with Charley Wright Spinal Cord Injury Recreation Therapist/Adaptive Scuba Instructor. The last few weeks have been challenging but fun for both Joe and his training team.
Earlier this year, all three had the chance to travel with LifeWaters to the Georgia Aquarium and experience sharing the water with 4 whale sharks, Manta Rays and various other marine life. This only fueled the entire family to finish their own Open Water Certifications and dive the Warm Oceans of the Keys. With only a few weeks to go, Joes wife and daughter are in the last stages for certification for their own open water scuba card.
The birth of the “HERO DIVE” will pave the wave for so many other families to have the chance to experience the healing properties above and below the waters. We are fortunate to have Gateway PVA and National PVA providing the funds for Joe and his family to travel and dive the Keys, additionally National PVA covering the cost two days on the dive boat for our entire team of disabled divers and specialized dive team. We are also fortunate to have national donors and supporters who will be attending the event to cheer on the team.
At the end of this adventure, there will be a documentary that will be shared nationally and internationally which will include Joe’s story. The Film crew will follow Joe from St. Louis to Key West documenting every step and bubble. When finished Joe will additionally receive a 20-minute video edited just for him and his family for years to come. We have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, so let it be the “HERO DIVE”.
A special thank you to the PVA, Julio Gomez (Founder and CEO of TridentCMG) and his team, LifeWaters volunteers, and Darrin James’ video crew.
Our motto, “The Ocean is our Lifeline… “
If you wish to sponsor a hero, please contact us or simply donate.
LifeWaters recognizes the selfless sacrifice of our First Responders. LifeWaters is proud to announce that we are building our initial First Responder team . This team will include:
- First responders who are scuba certified and want to become adaptive dive buddies through the SDI Scubility Dive program.
- First responders who have acquired a mobility impairment and want to learn to dive.
We encourage friends and family to certify as well. This participation can be essential to the therapy of the adaptive diver. LifeWaters participants learn more than just how to dive. They gain confidence in their abilities, learn to problem solve adaptive solutions, and meet other people with mobility impairments. Joining LifeWaters provides a sense of freedom and comfort for many families on their first trips, national and international. Through these trips, families gain the confidence to travel on their own!
Kevin, a Lifewaters adaptive diver, said “LifeWaters has a unique perspective on
disabilities. As opposed to traditional medical process, they put the primary focus on
what I “can” do, not what I can’t do. They evaluated me appropriately, designed a
program to become and open water certified, and pushed me to achieve it. LifeWaters
is a culture and a family. Everyone genuinely cares about everyone. For any individual
with a disability who is wondering, “I wonder if I can do that?” the answer is very simple.
Reach out to LifeWaters and ask.”
LifeWaters has committed to improving the lives our heroes by offering discover scuba and scuba certifications through Scuba Diving International (SDI) (Scubility Program) as part of recreational water therapy. This program is run by a dedicated, passionate staff of volunteers to include SCI therapists, doctors, nurses, veterans and civilians through the sport of diving. LifeWaters mission is to promote independence, inclusion, adventure, and healing for Veterans, First Responders, and civilians with mobility impairments by providing camaraderie, training, and certification in adaptive scuba diving for divers and