Disabled skiers convene at Lake Tahoe’s Alpine Meadows for ability celebration

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 15, 2011 10:03 am

Disabled Sports USA Far West, located at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, will host its week-long Ability Celebration Tuesday, Mar. 22 through Saturday, Mar. 26.  Participants from around the country will gather at Alpine Meadows for a week of rehabilitation camps and ski race competition; culminating in an evening of fine dining, entertainment, and silent auction to benefit the Disabled Sports center and its ongoing programs.

Each winter, Disabled Sports offers ski and snowboard instruction to students living with paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, autism, multiple sclerosis, visual impairment, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, head injuries, and muscular dystrophy.  “We’re very fortunate to be partners with Disabled Sports, for not only the Ability Celebration and Bash; but for all of the programs the center offers throughout winter,” said Deanna Gescheider, vice president of marketing and sales for Alpine Meadows.  “Disabled Sports and Alpine Meadows share the goal of making skiing and snowboarding accessible to anyone with a sense of adventure.  By attending the Celebration and Bash, guests support phenomenal programs available through Disabled Sports,” she added.
Third-annual Wounded Warrior Ability Ski & Snowboard Camp

As part of a week of skiing and celebration, 25 active-duty U.S. soldiers and marines will ski Alpine’s slopes Wednesday, March 23, Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26 for the Wounded Warrior Ability Ski & Snowboard Camp.  The camp is the result of a partnership between the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project and Disabled Sports USA Far West.  Soldiers who were disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan learn to ski and snowboard as part of their rehabilitation.  Camp participants will visit Disabled Sports from the Naval Medical Center of  San Diego; and the Brook Army Medical Center, of San Antonio – two major rehabilitation centers for service members who have been injured or disabled.

“It’s important that we reach recently disabled service members early in the rehabilitation process,” said Haakon Lang-Ree, Program Director at Disabled Sports.  “It’s an opportunity to expose them early to what they can do,” Lang-Ree added.

Friday, March 25 –Phil Bocks Memorial Ability Challenge

Teams of four racers comprised of event donors, sponsors, disabled skiers, and interested participants enjoy a fun day of ski racing through a classic giant slalom course at Alpine Meadows, and the winning team is the one with the fastest combined time.   The race is named to honor former Truckee, California resident, Marine Corps Sergeant Bocks was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2007.  “The Phil Bocks Memorial Ability Challenge race is our way of recognizing the ultimate sacrifice made by Phil as well as all fallen warriors,” Lang-Ree stated.  Race registration is open to all.  The registration fee for a team of four is $1000, and can be placed by contacting Disabled Sports at 530.581.4161.

Saturday, March 26 –17th Annual Ability Bash is renowned as one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fundraising events.  

Guests will enjoy an evening of gourmet cuisine, live music, and a silent auction starting at 7pm at the Alpine Meadows lodge.  Individual tickets are $100; and V.I.P. tables for 10 are available for $1000.  Contact Disabled Sports at 530.581.4161 or visit DisabledSports.net   to purchase tickets today.

Disabled Sports started by war veterans more than 40 years ago.  Teaching disabled service members to ski in 2010 has brought the mission of Disabled Sports full-circle.  The chapter was founded by the World War II 10thMountain Division in 1967 in order to offer support and rehabilitation to service members disabled during the Vietnam Conflict.

To learn more about Disabled Sports USA at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, visit DisabledSports.net   or call 530.581.4161.  To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project, visit WoundedWarriorProject.org .