My passion for the mission of Adaptive Sports Partners is fed by the amazing people and experiences that I am fortunate to encounter each day. These opportunities continue to power my life and nurture my passion for exploring it with others. I wanted to share a special story with you from one of ASPNC’s participants whose optimism in the face of adversity brings joy to all whom she touches. Let me introduce you to Suzie Coughlan, who shares her “ASPNC Story” with us all… My participation with ASPNC began on a cold February day at Cannon Mountain. This seemed very significant as it was on that mountain that my Dad, when I was 9 years old, decided it was time for me to gain confidence in my abilities. Coming from a very active family, we began skiing at age 3 on a driveway. On this trip to Cannon he said to me, “I am going to let you ski alone and when we meet I want you to be skiing faster and with more confidence”. It worked! He and I skied together all the time until his death in 1979. Fast forward to 2016. At that point in my life, after a lifetime of both Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, camping, kayaking, canoeing, biking, swimming and tennis I was living with Inclusion Body Myositis. IBM is a progressive degenerative muscle wasting disease with no cure. My partner Ronnie is an avid skier and Cannon is “her” mountain too! She suggested ASPNC while I was still teaching in a Montessori school. (A profession I adored for 28 years). I was horrified. “Why would I want to go down a mountain in a toboggan when I used to be an expert skier?” A few years later, after I had to take medical retirement, she suggested it once more! This time I thought “why not?” Thus, began an experience that totally transformed my new life as a person with a disability. Sandy took me on my first ski day and I was blown away! I felt the joy and freedom immediately and I recalled how much I loved skiing! Speed, cold air on my cheeks and FUN! To say nothing about being able to participate in Ronnie’s passion of skiing with her once again. And yes, my Dad was there in spirit! See Dad I am still gaining speed and confidence! Over my years of adaptive skiing the best day was while we were on Upper Ravine at the top of the mountain. I experienced muscle memory of the turns on the trail from my many years of skiing there! Adaptive sports have been an excellent way to bring my large extended family together. Together with many friends from all parts of my life we ascended Mt Washington in August at the Sunrise Ascent. Powered by Optimism we had an amazing shared experience. Supported by my blue sea of love, I was reminded of the intense power of love and that life is good!
Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) announces the hiring of Thomas Shovlin as its next Executive Director. Shovlin will become the second executive director in ASPNC’s history following the retirement of founding member and current Executive Director, Sandy Olney, in March 2019. “Sandy has been the life-blood of this organization over the last 9 years and there will never be a replacement for her. As a board, we are inspired by her passion for the mission of ASPNC and the amazing work she has done to build ASPNC to what it is today. We will miss Sandy tremendously but know that she will remain close to the organization and will always have a seat at the table. It is an exciting time for ASPNC, coming off a record year in terms of participants served and funds raised. Together with our vibrant community of volunteer leaders, we are confident that Thomas will continue the growth and do a fantastic job carrying out the ASPNC mission. We cannot be more excited about the next chapter for ASPNC.” says ASPNC Board President, Jeff Woodward. Shovlin, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is a non-profit executive with a successful track record in non-profit management and fundraising. He will lead the charge in ensuring a bright future for ASPNC as it enters its second decade of enriching the quality of life for people with disabilities. “ASPNC is a special organization and I am deeply passionate about its mission. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead ASPNC into this next chapter and feel lucky to be part of the thriving community that ASPNC has built. We are a dedicated group of like-minded individuals who all want to affect positive change and make a difference in the lives of others,” stated Shovlin. “I am energized by the enthusiasm of our volunteers, participants and staff, and I am excited to help foster the continued growth and impact of ASPNC.” Prior to joining ASPNC, Shovlin worked in Communications and Branding for Select Medical Corporation, a nearly $5 billion dollar, publicly-traded healthcare company. Most recently, he has served as the Executive Director for two non-profit, professional trade associations in the insurance industry. Shovlin has also been involved in sports and coaching for a majority of his life. As an athlete, he was a nationally-ranked, Division I wrestler at the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as a volunteer mentor for Beat the Streets Wrestling, where the sport of wrestling is used to instill discipline and life skills to underserved and at-risk children in the Philadelphia area. Shovlin has also worked with the Adaptive Ski Program at Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania and is a year-round volunteer for ASPNC, working closely with Executive Director Olney. “ASPNC has been my passion for the past nine years and I am all smiles to have Thomas stepping into the role of ASPNC’s next Executive Director” shares Olney. “Thomas will bring his commitment to our mission, expertise, and his contagious smile
The conclusion of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country’s (ASPNC) 9th annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington on August 5th held many wonderful moments and milestones for 14 adaptive athletes and their support teams. “It was an amazing day full of awesomeness!” says ASPNC Executive Director Sandy Olney. “To date, we have raised over $120,000–the most in the event’s nine-year history.” Olney believes that this was due in great part to several powerhouse fundraising teams and to a new Summit Sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “The day ended with a wonderful Bottom-side Brunch Celebration toasting all who made the climb and who made the event a grand success on so many levels. It was the perfect recap to a perfect morning,” Olney recalls. In the Anthem Sunrise Ascent, teams of volunteer “mules” aided adaptive sports enthusiasts in ASPNC’s version of a “walkathon” on a sunny, clear and temperate day. Each team got pledges and had the task of raising at least $6,288 (the height of Mt. Washington). The teams represented were Barbara Singleton, Brenna Bean, Charlie Walker, Chester Eastwood, David Santamore, Erik Kondo, Jesse Walker, Marie Hennessy, Marsha Gray, Martin Wallem, Sasha Segal, and Suzie Coughlan for ASPNC and Bex Fillmore and Vince Skelton for New England Disabled Sports (NEDS). “It was a smashing success and it is all thanks to our volunteers, participants, their teams, the individual donors who pledged to each team, the Mt Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington State Park, summit sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, halfway house sponsor Bank of New Hampshire, and mile marker sponsor Noyle Johnson Insurance — all of whom made the event the best ever,” says Olney. All proceeds go directly to enabling ASPNC and NEDS to continue to offer sport and recreational outings, programs and competitive team opportunities to North Country adaptive athletes and their families. “We are proud to support these tremendous athletes as part of our continuing efforts to expand opportunities that improve the lives of the people in the communities we serve. The determination exhibited by the Sunrise Ascent athletes and their teams to reach the summit of Mt. Washington is truly inspiring and highlights the important work of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country and New England Disabled Sports,” said Lisa Guertin, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. Local Anthem Sunrise Ascent athletes included Marsha Gray of Waterford, Vt. and Sasha Segal of Woodsville, N.H., both making their 4th ascents, and Chester Eastwood of Conway, N.H., who made his 8th ascent. Additionally, Charlie Walker of Littleton, N.H. made his first ascent supported by his family, several of his classmates and teachers from Littleton High School. Together, the 14 athletes were supported by over 200 “mules,” 60 “road runners,” — volunteers who provide the rides from the summit — and over a dozen support and safety team members. The Endurance Challenge portion of the event saw three challengers this year, including David Santamore from Barre, Vt. David made his second attempt at an unassisted wheeled ascent in a modified handcycle and arrived at the summit with a big smile in just over eight hours! Erik Kondo from Lexington, Mass. and Brenna Bean from Whatley, Mass. made their own relay team, swapping out as they pushed themselves to their limits and used both handcycles and their own wheelchairs. They ran short on time at the six-mile marker. We hope they will be back to try again next year. To learn more about this event, the athletes, and the adaptive sport organizations involved, Adaptive Sports Partners and New England Disabled Sports, or to make a donation, please visit www.SunriseAscent.org. Donations in honor of the
The Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) Power Soccer team wrapped up their 2018 spring season with a regional tournament in Lebanon, NH on Sunday, May 20. The event wrapped up an exciting undefeated season for the players. The ASPNC team tied the Baystate Falcons out of Haverhill, Ma with a defensive 1-1 effort. The ASPNC team went on to shutout the home team Upper Valley Wheelers 2-0. According to Matt Jerold, ASPNC Program Director, “The tournament win was a great team effort with each offensive player getting a goal. Big kudos also to our team goalie. He only allowed one ball to sneak by him!”
Power (wheelchair) Soccer is a team activity played by individuals with various disabilities. The game is played in a gymnasium on a regulation basketball court. Two teams of 4 power chair users attack, defend, and spin-kick an 18 inch soccer ball in an attempt to score points on a goal.
ASPNC has a full roster of summer seasonal activities for 2018 including hiking, biking, kayaking, tennis, golf, gardening and swimming. Programs run June through August and volunteers are still needed. No experience is necessary. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 603-823-5232 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about ASPNC at www.adaptivesportspartners.org.
Looking for the best, most fun, and most rewarding time ever??? Come and find out more about how to volunteer for Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country.
As I write to you today, I am sitting in our new ASPNC Headquarters in the Franconia Market Place building at 297 Main Street in Franconia. If you haven’t been by to visit us at our new location, I encourage you to stop in and see our fabulous new space! We are busy with final wrap up of a winter season that saw many great successes on the slopes, the basketball court, and on the beautiful trails that surround us. Power soccer and bowling have started. In May, we will begin a full complement of Spring programs including swimming, climbing, gardening, and biking. Profile School students will also be joining us at Tamarack Tennis Camp for after-school tennis. Most of our spring programs are already full as are our summer biking, hiking, kayaking, and golf programs. If you think you have so time to spare, we are seeking additional volunteers so that we can clear the names from our growing waitlists. Each day I work with people with a wide variety of abilities helping to enrich their quality of life through participation in activities like sled hockey and gardening, and a growing list of other sport, recreation, and wellness opportunities provided on a year-round basis through Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country. I consider these services to be essential to quality of life and as such, ASPNC provides services to all who request them regardless of their ability to pay. Our program fees are minimal and on average cover less than 20% of our cost, but even so, a growing number of our participants find they do not have the resources to pay. I am asking today for your support for our Partner in Possibilities Campaign which will help to cover the program fees that we waive. Last year this amounted to over $13,000 and we anticipate this number to top $16,000 by the end of this year. This is how you can help make it possible; Your gift in the amount of . . . $640 – a winter of alpine skiing or snowboarding and a summer of biking. $400 – a winter of alpine skiing or snowboarding $240 – a season of hiking, biking, climbing or kayaking $100 – participation on one of our competitive sport teams and a team jersey $ 50 – an alpine ski session or 2 summer hiking sessions As we begin this new and wonderful spring season, I hope that you will consider joining me as a Partner in Possibilities, helping adaptive athletes of all ages and all abilities, with a gift of participation, inclusion, and enrichment. With appreciation, Sandy Olney Executive Director Make your gift online at www.AdaptiveSportsPartners.org/possible
Sunday, March 18, 2018 CANNON MOUNTAIN The 1st Annual Helping Heroes Ski Day is scheduled for Sunday, March 18, 2018, and will be held at Cannon Mountain Ski Area in partnership with Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country. The purpose of this event is to provide our active military, veterans, and first responders with disabilities a full day of outdoor adventure at no cost and an opportunity to foster camaraderie amongst other heroes. Space and adaptive equipment are limited and registration will occur on a first come first serve basis. Azimuth Check Foundation will fully sponsor the first 12 registrants with disabilities.
For the 3rd year, Copper Cannon has hosted Adaptive Sports Partners volunteer orientation program. While our programs might be different, Copper Cannon and Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country have more in common then you might think. Read all about it in Connor’s latest blog “The Rhetoric of Non – Profits.”
It was amazing having Kiley Jacques, freelance writer for the Appalachian Mountain Club, join our adaptive community to learn more and produce this piece highlighting the work of ASPNC in support of athletes with disabilities, their families, friends, and our outstanding volunteers. We are glad to have you and your brother Kevin as our newest participants! We can’t thank the AMC enough for their support and partnership. Read her article in the AMC Outdoors Magazine.