2019 Year End Appeal

In my life, there have been just a handful of experiences that were so powerful that they moved me to tears. One of those was following my first volunteer experience with Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country. Being new to the North Country, I was eager to get involved in the community and contribute in a positive way. ASPNC seemed like a great way to do that. On my first outing, I worked with a young participant who was skiing for the first time. Her parents looked on with video camera in hand. I could tell they were excited, but a little nervous. With the help of ASPNC volunteers, she started making her first turns down the slope. Her parents were cheering and smiling from ear to ear. They were bursting with pride and joy. So was I. As I became more familiar with the organization, I learned that my experience was not unique. There are many stories like mine that ASPNC volunteers, participants, and families can share. Below, Joanne Huff, who has been involved with ASPNC for more than five years with her daughter, Sasha, shares the life-enriching, life-changing impact that ASPNC has had on her family. When my daughter, Sasha, first experienced seizures 15 years ago, they occurred infrequently.  However, they insidiously gained momentum and frequency. Eventually, she was diagnosed with Lennon-Gasteaux, a form of irretractable epilepsy.  As Sasha’s neurologist continued tight oversight, I felt helpless as we watched Sasha’s seizures go from once or twice a year to once or twice a month to several per week. At one point she experienced nine grand mal seizures in one day. I will never forget the day I sat with our doctor and said out loud something I was so afraid to say.  “I am concerned that we are approaching her ultimate demise,” I whispered to the doctor in case Sasha could understand.  The neurologist most definitely saw the fear and grief behind my eyes. He offered one last medication trial and off to the pharmacy I went. I can still see the calendar so vividly, checking off each day that passed without a seizure.  “Seven days in a row could not be right, could it?” I wondered to myself rechecking the math.  But then, one week turned into many. Time continuously strung together until, remarkably, we hit one full year. Fast forward to today as I write this, when one year became seven. So much has been gained since then and one thing that came out of that difficult era was the gift of time.  As a family, we went from never knowing what any given day would bring to being able to make plans.  We wanted to see what life could look like for a healthier Sasha.  It was around this time that we met Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country, like a swift, unanimous answer to all of those “what ifs?” … When we first crossed paths with ASPNC five years ago, I had

Anthem Sunrise Ascent Climbs to New Heights at the Mt. Washington Auto Road

The 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington held on August 4th saw 13 athletes with various disabilities reach the summit of Mt. Washington and raised more than $100,000 to support year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities. This major event benefits Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) and New England Disabled Sports (NEDS). The Anthem Sunrise Ascent challenges athletes with varying degrees and types of disabilities to reach the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, by hiking the Mt. Washington Auto Road. This year, 13 adaptive athletes—each with their own support team—successfully completed the inspiring and arduous journey to the summit. The event drew nearly 300 individuals from all over the New England region and beyond. “The Anthem Sunrise Ascent raises nearly 1/3 of the annual budget for ASPNC” says ASPNC Executive Director Thomas Shovlin. “None of this would be possible without the support of hundreds of participants, community businesses and donors, and our two top-level sponsors, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Auto Road.” Anthem was the summit sponsor and the Mt. Washington Auto Road delays its opening and provides significant contributions as the host of this event. In addition to the challenge of reaching the summit, each team competes in a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $6,288 for the height of Mt. Washington. Nearly every team reached this goal. The top fundraising team was led by Sasha Segal of Woodsville, NH. Together, Team Sasha raised over $30,000. Other teams were led by Becca Coulter of Lancaster, NH, Bex Fillmore of South Weymouth, MA, Charlie Walker of Littleton, NH, Chester Eastwood of Conway, NH, Jimbo Bonneau of Rochester, NH, Erik Kondo of Lexington, MA, Greg Durso of Burlington, VT, Jesse Walker of Wolfeboro, NH, Marsha Gray of Waterford, VT, Linda Shurpik of Concord, NH, and Martin Wallem of Epping, NH. “This event continues to grow every year, and its due to the passion of our volunteers, participants, and donors and sponsors. It goes to show the power of team work and community and does so much to provide life-enriching opportunities for people with disabilities. We are looking forward to an even bigger event, including more athletes next year on August 2, 2020 for our 11th Annual Sunrise Ascent,” says Shovlin. “Thank you to the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington State Park, our summit sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, our halfway house sponsor Bank of New Hampshire, our mile marker sponsors Eversource and Noyle Johnson Insurance, mule team sponsors FLIR, Franconia Gas, Turtle Ridge Foundation, Paramount Electric, and our toll house sponsors Tender Corporation, Walker Motor Sales, Inc., Little City Thrift Store, and Franconia Auto Service Team  — all of whom made this milestone 10th year the best yet.” “Improving the lives of the people in our communities is our mission at Anthem. That’s why we’re proud to be a supporter of Adaptive

Mule Registration Now Open

The 10th Annual Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington registration is now live! We are calling all “mules” and “trail angels” to register for a milestone Sunrise Ascent on August 4, 2019. As an added bonus, the first 50 to register will receive limited-edition, 10th Anniversary Sunrise Ascent swag!   Learn more about the Sunrise Ascent at  www.SunriseAscent.org   Click here  to register and be a part of this inspirational event!   Questions? Contact Michelle Reagan at 603-823-5232 or info@adaptivesportspartners.org

Partners in Possibilities

Greetings!   Happy spring! We hope this email find you well. You are receiving this message because you have supported Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) in the past and you have made year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities possible. We are reaching out now to again respectfully ask for your compassionate support. Through the end of May, ASPNC is running its Partners in Possibilities (PiP) fundraising campaign to ensure the continuation of accessible, affordable, and enriching programs for our participants. The experiences our staff and volunteers provide truly enrich the quality of life for so many people and it would not be possible without your support.   With that, please take a moment to read the letter, (Click here for the letter) from our new Executive Director, Thomas Shovlin, and please consider making a donation to our PiP campaign today. Donations can be made online at www.AdaptiveSportsPartners.org/donate or by mail. Checks can be made payable to ASPNC and mailed to PO Box 304, Franconia, NH 03580.   Together, we can make possibilities a reality for people with disabilities. Thank you for your continued support and for being a Partner in Possibilities.

Pirates of the High Skis! Fundraising Event Cannonballs to Success

Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) hosted its annual Pirates of the High Skis! fundraising event at Cannon Mountain on Saturday, February 2nd . With the help of Cannon Mountain, several local businesses, and pirates far and wide, the event raised more than $16,000 for ASPNC. These funds will allow the organization to continue to provide year-round sports, recreation, and wellness activities for people with disability. The organization currently serves nearly 200 participants each year by engaging them in outdoor and indoor activities that emphasize physical, emotional, and social health and wellness. “We are very proud of how this event has grown over the years and it certainly goes a long way in funding our mission to enrich the quality of life for people with disability through the use of sports, recreation, and wellness,” says founding director, Sandy Olney. “This is our largest fundraiser in the winter, and frankly, it is just a fun, family-friendly event that we really take joy in hosting.” The Pirates of the High Skis! event encouraged skiers and snowboarders to dress as pirates for the day and featured a pirate-themed scavenger hunt across Cannon Mountain’s ski trails. Registered participants deciphered clues to find “X’s” placed on specific trails and performed various tasks throughout the day. For each “X” found and each task performed, the event’s participants earned gold treasure coins that could be submitted for a drawing of three prize packages, each valued at over $800. Prizes included lift tickets to ski areas throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, lodging and vacation packages, and exclusive experiences, among other items. The festivities also included the Luck O’ the Brotherhood raffle, with prizes that included a 2019-20 season pass to Cannon Mountain and a ski, stay and play package at Mittersill Alpine Resort. Other highlights of the day included hourly prize drawings, a silent auction, a tattoo parlor, and a pirate portrait gallery. Sponsors for the event included Cannon Mountain, Passumpsic Bank, Ski Haus, Littleton Coin Company, Paramount Electric, Franconia Gas, Turtle Ridge Foundation, Centerplate, and VanDesign. We like to thank our various community partners for the silent auction, raffle, and hourly drawing prizes.  This event would not be such a success without these partnerships..