WATERVLIET — The renovation of the PARCOURSE at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet is now about 60 percent funded thanks to a donation this week from the Lane Family. 

George and Janet Lane gave $51,000 to support the outdoor walking/running track available to the community.

The Lanes are longtime members of the Watervliet community and founded Lane Automotive in 1964. The family has a long history of philanthropic giving and have generously supported Lakeland Health for many years. George and Janet are now retired, but remain involved in the family business.

A total of $50,000 of the gift will fund renovations and the additional $1,000 will go toward a memorial park bench on the course named in the family’s honor.

“We are so very grateful to George and Janet for their tremendous generosity and continued support of Lakeland Health,” said Brandi Smith-Gordon, vice president of philanthropy and president of Lakeland Health Foundations, in a news release. “Their gift will provide our community with access to a free, outdoor exercise space which will help people of all ages and fitness levels reach their health goals.”

The Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club and the Lakeland Health Foundations broke ground on the $365,000 renovation of the PARCOURSE in June. 

It was Bob Becker, a Rotary Club member’s, time in physical rehabilitation in 2014 at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet that sparked the renovation project.

“I was bedridden. I had gone through a lot of issues, from being paralyzed, getting back into shape, then I had a relapse in ’14,” Becker said in June. “Cindy Forester was working with me as a (physical) therapist. She got me up between the parallel bars, I took three steps, and she said, ‘I’m not going to let you go any further unless you start (working) on the PARCOURSE.’”

He said it took some time but, through the Lakeland Health Foundations and the Rotary Club, they did it.

The current 1.1-mile walking/running track will get redesigned to have two quarter-mile asphalt loops to accommodate individuals who may use wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility aids. Each loop will have four stations or pods with different types of professional grade exercise equipment that offer varying degrees of difficulty for all fitness levels.

The Rotary Club has already started getting the PARCOURSE back to its former glory by planting some trees. And they hope to plant more, Becker said.

The project is slated for completion in 2020.

For continued updates on the project, or to learn more about how to provide support, contact the Lakeland Health Foundations at 927-5143 or visit www.lakelandhealthfoundations.org/parcourse.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman