Category Archives: disabled travel

Vermont Adaptive Opens Center at Sugarbush; Bern Contributes Helmets

More than 400 volunteers serve Vermont Adaptive clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Vermont Adaptive Sports Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing year-round sports and recreational programs for people with disabilities regardless of ability to pay, has just opened a $2.5 million, 4,000-square foot center at Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort, in Warren Vermont.

Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Also, Bern Helmets, respected internationally for its proprietary street-inspired bike, snow, and action sports helmets, has partnered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Between last year and 2022, Bern will have contributed more than 300 helmets in a variety of sizes and styles for snow and bike activities in Vermont for participants with Vermont Adaptive.

Helmets are divided between the new adaptive sports facility in Sugarbush, opening Dec. 10, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ traveling bike fleet and some were given directly to Vermont Adaptive participants. The traveling mountain bike fleet is used by participants all over Vermont and accesses many of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Chapters’ trails. The traveling fleet is made up of a variety of different mountain bikes that serve those with diverse abilities. Additional helmets were gifted to participants directly to adhere to safety protocols during Winter Programming in 2021.

“Our relationship with Bern is critical to our programs,” said Jeff Alexander, director of strategic partnerships and business development for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. “Their donation of helmets enables athletes to ski, ride and bike in safety and in style. Many participants don’t own their equipment; being able to provide best- in- class equipment breaks down one of many barriers to getting outside and playing.”

“Supporting Vermont Adaptive’s mission is consistent with Bern’s DNA,” said Mickey Russell, social media manager. “We’re proud to support their year-round programming efforts in order to help people of all abilities experience the outdoors. This is just one of many ways we hope to get more people outside.”

In addition to sports, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports year round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional behavioral disabilities.

For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Vermont Adaptive Files for Permit to Build New $2 Million Adaptive Sports Facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen

Ray Hamilton, Veteran Ventures: “Vermont Adaptive makes the things you think are impossible, possible. I never thought I would see kids who are blind skiing or biking, but Vermont Adaptive makes it happen.” On top of learning to snowboard, becoming a volunteer snowboarding coach, and getting outside every single week, Ray said that being with Vermont Adaptive has taught him more about himself, and given him a second chance.

KILLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports officials have filed an Act 250 permit application with the state of Vermont to build a new, $2 million adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen. The application states that Vermont Adaptive is the applicant and Sugarbush Resort is the landowner. If approved, Vermont Adaptive’s Executive Director Erin Fernandez said the organization will break ground on the new facility in the spring. 

“We’re in the final stages of our fundraising and are grateful for the continued support from Win Smith, Sugarbush, and its new owner, Alterra, to allow us to build our second adaptive sports facility in the state right here at our home at Mt. Ellen,” said Fernandez. “Friends and participants of Vermont Adaptive’s programs at Sugarbush have pledged a generous challenge to match every dollar up to $1 million for this Sugarbush facility. Sugarbush officials have granted a long term lease of the land necessary to build upon. We saw huge growth in our programs and the number of people who can participate in year-round sports when we built our first adaptive sports facility at Pico Mountain in 2013. We’re excited for the potential growth in the Mad River Valley with this next phase of our Home Sweet Home permanent homes campaign.”

Architectural plans, renderings and permitting began in Spring 2018 for the new 4,000-sq. ft. adaptive sports facility. Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture. Fernandez said that in addition to donations from individuals, the organization is seeking in-kind support in the form of building materials and more.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Adaptive in their efforts to build a new adaptive sports facility here at Mt. Ellen,” said Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort. “We believe in the great work of Vermont Adaptive and provide full support to realize their vision.”

Vermont Adaptive, nationally recognized for its year-round daily adaptive sports programs for people with any disability, has a total goal of $4 million to build, open and sustain this facility at Sugarbush, as well as to build a new permanent home on the Burlington Waterfront and Bike Path, and to create a sustainability fund to support these programs and facilities into the future.

“People with disabilities are more likely to have other health issues like heart disease, stroke, or diabetes which is why it is so important to provide programs for people to be active and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Fernandez. “This new facility allows us to grow and expand our existing programs and to serve more athletes with disabilities in the Mad River Valley and in Central Vermont, for those vacationing in Vermont, and beyond. More programs like wellness and environmental camps, plus retreats, social events, training seminars, and sport specific programs will be added to serve more people. Additional storage and maintenance spaces allow us to increase equipment capacity. The opportunities are limitless. In designing these facilities we thoughtfully consider and include features that focus on inclusion, adaptability and the participant’s overall experience. It’s a special and exciting time for us as we plant permanent roots in Central and Northern Vermont.”

The organization built and opened the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain in November 2013 with the Pico Ski Education Foundation, marking the completion of the first phase of the Home Sweet Home campaign. This facility houses the organization’s headquarters and is the hub for year-round programming in southern Vermont and the greater Rutland/Killington region. It is one of the only year-round adaptive sports facilities in Vermont and New England.

Vermont Adaptive’s humble beginnings began on the ski trails at Mt. Ascutney more than 30 years ago in 1987. As the organization expanded throughout the state to meet the recreational needs of those with disabilities, it also began summer programs to eventually become a nationally recognized year-round organization.

To donate or inquire about naming opportunities, contact Fernandez at 802.353.8129 or director@vermontadaptive.org; . Donors can give online at Vermont Adaptive’s website. For more information about the new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush, visit  www.vermontadaptive.org/permanent-homes.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures