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Crystal Lake YMCA to host Paralympic swimmer Brad Snyder for Holiday Inspirational Community Breakfast

Snyder was 5-time gold medalist, 2-time silver medalist at London, Rio Paralympic Games

Brad Snyder swims in his heat in the men's 400-meter freestyle during the U.S. Paralympics team trials June 30, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. Snyder, a Navy veteran, was blinded after he stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2011 in Afghanistan.
Brad Snyder swims in his heat in the men's 400-meter freestyle during the U.S. Paralympics team trials June 30, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. Snyder, a Navy veteran, was blinded after he stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2011 in Afghanistan.

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake will host a breakfast Friday that will feature inspirational speakers and musical performances to welcome the holiday season.

Paralympic gold medalist Brad Snyder will be one of the guests.

The YMCA, 701 Manor Road, is inviting residents to attend the Holiday Inspirational Community Breakfast at
7 a.m. Friday, according to a news release.

The event, presented by the Foglia Family Foundation, will show off local youth inspirational speakers and performers and feature Snyder, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant who lost his eyesight when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

Snyder served in Afghanistan in 2011, and the IED permanently blinded him.

“The explosion took his eyesight, but not his tenacity and fierce competitive spirit,” the release said.

He won his first gold medal at the London Olympics on Sept. 7, 2012 – one year after the incident. Snyder went on to become a five-time gold medalist and two-time silver medalist at the London and Rio Paralympic Games.

“The event will celebrate the community and inspire attendees to believe in the importance of strengthening kids and families,” the release said. “The Y, a community-anchoring institution, provides the opportunity for everyone to live up to their potential.”

Tickets are $15 a person and can be bought online at donate.ymcachicago.org/sage, in person at the Sage YMCA front desk or by contacting Lesley Smith at 815-526-1635 or lpsmith@ymcachicago.org.

3 Chef’s Catering will provide the breakfast, and 4-Strings Attached, the Crystal Lake School District 47 bell choir; the Community High District 155 Madrigal Choir; and the Berkshire Ballet Theatre will provide entertainment.

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