WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) wrapped up its 2022-23 winter season on Saturday with its annual Ralph Hartman Tribute Cup and Dinner Dance.
The Ralph Hartman Tribute Cup is a special race down Windham Mountain’s “White Way” that is open for all ASF participants who have taken both seasonal and daily lessons with the organization. It’s a celebration of the accomplishments and the athletic abilities of all the ASF’s adaptive athletes.
The festivities began at 10:45 a.m. with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, sung by ASF student and Hartman racer Anna Lazare. The parade of flags followed, a magnificent sight that features members of the ASF Race Team and Sliders proudly carrying the flags of different nations as well as an Adaptive Sports Foundation flag, as they ski down the race trail.
At 11 a.m., the first racer took off and the fun began. In total, 29 adaptive athletes took two runs down “White Way”, finishing at the bottom with their family, friends and spectators cheering them on.
Some highlights included ASF Race Team member Patrick Carrol posting the best time of the day with an 18.76-second trip down the course, Jeffrey Resnick sliding across the finish line in the day’s final run and all the smiles on all the athletes as they crossed the finish line.
The results of the races can be found HERE.
After the race, the ASF hosted lunch in the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center for all participants, volunteers and family members. After lunch, the ASF presented special service-time certificates to volunteers indicating milestone volunteer years. The organization also gave out 1st-place, 2nd-place and 3rd-place awards, along medals to the students who participated in that morning’s race.
The Adaptive Sports Foundation recognized students who performed admirably all season and put in 110% effort day in and day out with special awards. The Stu Smith Award, which is in honor of volunteer instructor Stu Smith who passed away in 2007, is given to a student (or students) who best exemplifies Stu’s enthusiasm, good cheer and love of snow sports, was given to Nicholas Raio and Patrick Brown. The Robert “Buff” Donnelly Award goes to the student (or students) who demonstrate courage, determination and love for life, and this year’s recipients were Ava McIntosh and Tristen Mulder.
The ASF also honored volunteers who went above and beyond all year with special awards. The ASF Rookie Volunteers of the Year for 2023 were Indoor Volunteer Heather Fitzpatrick and Ski Instructor Mark Kerpen. The Ralph Hartman Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Jake Finnegan and Judy Gorberg. This year was the first year the organization awarded the ASF All-Around Volunteer of the Year Award, which was given to Tom Devine, who not only is often out instructing students all winter, but is also very involved in the ASF’s summer programs and ski instructing at Big SNOW American Dream.
For the first time since 2019, the ASF held the Hartman Dinner Dance, which was hosted by Seasons in the Windham Mountain Base Lodge. The Mardi Gras themed party was filled with dancing, singing, fun and celebration, an appropriate way to cap off an incredible winter season for the ASF.