Support the ASF’s 2018 Annual Fund
It has been 15 years since I started volunteering as a snowboard instructor teaching children and adults with disabilities at the Adaptive Sports Foundation.
The triumphsI’ve seen over those 15 years thanks to the commitment of people like you is inspiring beyond words.
People often ask me why sports matter, why they’re so powerful for someone with a disability, and I often think of Patrick, one of my first snowboard students.
Patrick suffered a stroke during birth. At just five months old, his parents were told his future was already written. His doctor told them he might never walk, that he’d never run. His mother was so angry, and she responded, “You just wait, someday he’ll be in the Olympics!”
I was introduced to Patrick about ten years ago at the ASF’s Adaptive Sports Center. His parents found out about our program and were interested in signing him up for skiing. They just had an awful experience when his Little League baseball team told them he could not participate since they could not make an accommodation for his disability. They were hopeful that the winter ski program at the Adaptive Sports Foundation might turn that around.
Patrick’s disability would have made skiing a bit more challenging so I suggested snowboarding which appeared to be a much better option for him. He was also nine years old and snowboarding seemed a lot cooler to him. At first Patrick’s parents were a bit skeptical, but once we got past that, the rest was all about Patrick. Together, we made constant adjustments until he felt comfortable on the board.
“Can’t … Shouldn’t … Never will.” Too many families hear these words every day. The ASF offers them a chance at hearing “Can…Should…Will.”
That “chance” means the world for kids who come to ASF. So often they’re used to being on the outside. They see athletes they admire, and think, “I could never do that, or be them …”
Through your support they can. You help make it possible. Today, will you send a special gift of $25 … $50 … $100 or more to support our Annual Fund Drive to help more people like Patrick discover what they can do?
When someone like Patrick realizes they can do something that most of their typical, able bodied peers can’t they become the inspiration… that is what changes everything!
Once Patrick got the hang of it, he took off and has never looked back. He’d found his passion. He’s not only one of the coolest kids on the slopes … he’s one of the best! At the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships two years ago, Patrick took Gold!
And, although it is not what teenagers usually want to hear …his mom was right! Patrick is busy preparing to qualify for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.
“ASF changed all our lives — for the better,” says Joe, Patrick’s dad. “Patrick wouldn’t be where he is without them.” Joe told me recently that seeing Patrick out riding the mountain isn’t just awesome … it’s an inspiration.
Whether it’s a United States military veteran with a prosthetic arm or paralyzed legs doing something he or she never imagined, or a kid like Patrick who knew what he could do if only someone would give him the chance — your gift right now will change lives.
But don’t take my word for it. Take Patrick’s. He used to dodge questions about why he had limited use of his left hand and leg. But today when people ask him about his disability, he uses it as an opportunity to educate and advocate. This year, Patrick is a college freshman at Fordham University and in addition to his Paralympic ambitions, he wants to return to ASF as a volunteer instructor — to give back some of what he’s been given.
Patrick tells his dad all the time: “I’m going to change the world someday. If I have to do it one person at a time, that’s what I’ll do.”
Today, please, send your gift to help more people with disabilities discover what they can do through the Adaptive Sports Foundation.Vince Passione Chair of the Board
P.S. Your gift for the Annual Fund is especially critical now as we expand our all-season programming, bringing more sports into the lives of those with disabilities in the spring, summer, and fall.
P.P.S. This past year, we provided over 3,000 lessons, impacting the lives of hundreds of people. And we reached more new families than ever before. Your support can bring transformative opportunities, affordably or for free, to people with disabilities … it is amazing.
Thank you for your support during our 2018 Annual Fund Drive!