WINDHAM, N.Y. – After spending four days giving United States veterans and their family members skiing and snowboarding lessons, the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) concluded its 20th annual Bob Stubbs Warriors in Motion® (WIM) Winter Sports Weekend on Sunday.
“I had an awesome three days on the slopes,” 24-year Army veteran Isaac “Zackary” Ebron said about his time with the ASF. “I will never ever forget these three days that I’ve had here.”
The ASF brought in 18 retired U.S. servicemen and women and members of their family into the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center on Thursday evening to a dinner welcoming them to Windham. The warriors were fitted for the ski and snowboard equipment, as well as any adaptive equipment they required due to injury. This dinner, catered by the Millrock Restaurant and the Bruderhof Community, gave the warriors a chance to meet each other, some for the very first time, and to share stories of their service and their recovery. It also gave them a chance to meet ASF staff, volunteers, board members and Rosie and Grant Stubbs, the wife and son of the late Bob Stubbs, who this event was named after.
“This event brings people together from all different areas, and they meet people that they keep in touch with for the rest of their lives,” Rosie Stubbs said. “And that’s what you hope for.”
Friday morning the WIM participants came to the ASF lodge and were greeted with the aromas of a breakfast feast, courtesy of the ASF kitchen volunteers. With full stomachs, the WIM participants were given their lift tickets and were ready to hit the slopes for a couple hours before a celebratory luncheon, held at Windham Mountain Club’s Seasons. Vince Passione, the Chairman of the ASF Board of Trustees, said a few words before handing the microphone over to Marc Farmilette, the commander of VFW Post 1545 in Windham to lead the room in the Pledge of Allegiance and give a speech. Another ASF board member, Michel Fee, also spoke and Windham Mountain Club’s Heather Tuey sang the National Anthem. After lunch, the large group went outside for a group photo before commencing their afternoon lessons.
The celebrations didn’t end there, as Farmilette and the rest of VFW Post 1545 invited the warriors to dinner that night, where they mingled with Windham’s veterans, including a World War II veteran and a Korean War veteran.
Saturday was another full day of skiing and snowboarding at Windham Mountain Club. The WIM participants enjoyed another group breakfast before receiving four hours’ worth of instruction out on the slopes, with a break for lunch at the ASF lodge in the middle of it all. The warriors ventured back to their hotels to decompress for a few hours before returning to the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center that night for dinner. The WIM participants enjoyed salmon, provided by the ASF’s George Johnson and cupcakes for dessert made by Johnson’s wife, Alison. All of this was prepared by the dedicated ASF kitchen volunteers, the third meal they prepared of the day. After dinner, the warriors were given handmade quilts, provided by The Patchwork Co., and jackets, donated by Tom Flippo of Dunbrooke Apparel.
On the final day of the Bob Stubbs Warriors in Motion Winter Sports Weekend, the veterans and their families once again enjoyed breakfast together at the ASF lodge followed by a two-hour morning lesson. With heads full of five lessons’ worth of skiing and snowboarding knowledge, the WIM participants enjoyed lunch before departing back to their homes.
“This was my first time trying stand-up skiing, and I loved it,” Army veteran Tonia Chestnut explained. “The instructors were wonderful and very knowledgeable, I loved all the food, the assistance, everyone was very friendly. I definitely will be coming back and telling a lot of my veteran friends about this program.”
“Bob was really invested in the warriors. He really thought our nation’s injured veterans were the crème de la crème,” Rosie Stubbs said when asked what this event meant to her late husband. “For me, the warriors are inspirational. When you think about the years they put into the service, many of them would still like to be active but they can’t be, that hurts them. But no matter what their injuries are, they’d still serve our country, and that’s inspirational.”
Thanks to the foundation’s generous donors, the ASF provided all lessons, equipment rentals, meals, hotel rooms at the Hotel Vienna and the Winwood Inn & Condos, snacks and drinks for this weekend. If you’d like to donate to the many programs the Adaptive Sports Foundation has to offer, visit www.adaptivesportsfoundation.org/donate.
About the ASF’s Warriors in Motion Program
The Warriors in Motion (WIM) program provides participating injured United States servicemen and women with a basic knowledge and practice of wellness and the importance of lifelong healthy living. All Warriors in Motion programs are goal-oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness. One of the many things that makes this weekend special is that the warriors who will be joining the ASF are able to bring their families along with them to take skiing and snowboarding lessons as well.
Beginning in 2021, the ASF renamed its Warriors in Motion Learn to Ski and Ride event to the Bob Stubbs Warriors in Motion Winter Sports Weekend to honor the memory of Bob Stubbs, a former Chairman of the ASF Board of Trustees, who passed away in 2020. Stubbs, a U.S. Army veteran himself, was one of the first ASF donors to ensure that wounded veterans had everything they needed for a weekend of fun and empowerment on the slopes. He and his wife Rosie would attend many of the WIM events the ASF held, and often the couple would build friendships with the participants.
About the Adaptive Sports Foundation
For 40 years the ASF has been providing sports and recreation opportunities to thousands in the disabled community. Since then, it has grown into what it is today, an organization that provides year-round services out of its own slope-side lodge, the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center. All this has been accomplished over the years thanks to many donors and an impressive legion of volunteers, who can be seen in their iconic green jackets sliding down the snow-white slopes.
The Adaptive Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides profound and life changing experiences for children and adults with physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities and chronic illnesses through outdoor physical activity, education, support and community. For more information about the Adaptive Sports Foundation please visit www.adaptivesportsfoundation.org.
Hear from some veterans as the reflect on the 2024 Bob Stubbs Warriors in Motion Winter Sports Weekend