A town in Haiti, the trails of Winona Lake, Ind., and athletic competition are all part of a very special event this weekend. Grace College will host and sponsor The Lake Games on July 27 and 28 to benefit Heart Soul Mind Strength (HSMS), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food, shelter, education, and jobs to people in Jeremie, Haiti. Support sponsors CrossFit Haymaker and MPowered Sports Club, along with several other area sponsors, have partnered to offer the premier sporting event and ultimate competition to the Warsaw and Winona Lake community.
The Lake Games will begin with an obstacle course competition on Friday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. starting at the Grace College Gordon Recreation Center. A CrossFit competition will take place Saturday morning, followed by a mountain bike race and trail run. Participants may sign up for any or all four events; those who register for all four will compete to become the Ultimate Challenger and take home $1,000 in prize money.
The Lake Games will also feature a coed, four-on-four grass volleyball tournament on Saturday morning at Beta Field on the Grace College Campus. Participants may choose the recreational division or the “A” league. Total cash and prizes for The Lake Games are valued at more than $10,000.
Lindsay Anderson, the founder of HSMS, is a Warsaw Community High School and Grace College graduate. She first encountered Haiti when she accompanied her brother, Todd, there in 2010 to assist with earthquake relief efforts. While there, she fell in love with the people and the land. HSMS and a year-round ministry to the Haitian people is the result.
“Lindsay’s ministry is dynamic and fruitful,” said Todd Anderson, creator of The Lake Games. “In the past seven years, she has done so many tangible things to help the people in Jeremie. She’s focused on long-term sustainability there, and by extension, we – her supporters – are focused on Lindsay’s continuing success,” he said.
Since its founding in 2014, HSMS has established a bilingual Christian school, built a community shower house, partnered with the Haitian government and NGOs to distribute food and supplies after Hurricane Matthew, and supported over 500 farmers with sustainable seeds. HSMS also disciples men, women, and children; teaches life skills; and helps to create jobs for women to promote family unity and stability.
“It’s awesome that Lindsay’s home community can come together this weekend to compete and have fun, all the while providing critical resources for the ministry of Heart Soul Mind Strength,” added Todd Anderson.
All proceeds from The Lake Games will benefit HSMS. Individual registration fees range from $20 to $35 per event, with discounts available for multi-event registration. For more information, and to register, visit lakegames.org. Pre-registration is available online, and same-day registration can be completed at the Gordon Recreation Center at Grace College, 100 Publishers Dr., Winona Lake.