Bend based non-profit organization, Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) will host its 13th annual “Heroes” snowsports weekend for Veterans with Disabilities this weekend at Mt. Bachelor.
Nearly two dozen disabled veterans and their families from the Pacific Northwest will be traveling to Bend for two full days of adaptive skiing at Mt Bachelor and an all-inclusive weekend with lodging, meals, and activities for family members.
Oregon Adaptive Sports serves approximately 500 individuals with disabilities each year and the Heroes event stands out as an annual highlight. “Our community is honored to have the opportunity to serve our Veterans each year through the Heroes event, which would not be possible with out the support of our generous sponsors, and well over 100 volunteers that will assist throughout the weekend,” says Patrick Addabbo, OAS Executive Director.
Each year the event is funded through generous support from Disabled Sports USA’s (DSUSA) Warfighter Sports program, a nationwide organization that supports adaptive sports programs for thousands of Disabled Veterans and other individuals with disabilities each year. DSUSA’s funding in part comes from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
OAS has been a chapter member of DSUSA since its incorporation in 2003.
Also this year, OAS received a generous anonymous gift from private donors to support the weekend and significant in-kind support from Deschutes Brewery, the Best Western Premier hotel, Powder House and Mt Bachelor. Combined these supporters allow OAS to provide well over $20,000 worth of activities, lodging, and meals, to these 23 Veterans and their families.
New in 2020, OAS is partnering with Portland-based non-profit, Adventures Without Limits, who will be facilitating inclusive cross-country ski and snowshoe experiences for some Veterans and their family members. Combined, these two organizations will accommodate a wide range of disabilities including those with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and amputees with specialized adaptive snowsports equipment and comprehensive training on facilitating such experiences for individuals with disabilities.
“The Heroes event represents the strength and dedication of our community, not just in Central Oregon, but state and region wide, in providing access to the benefits of outdoor recreation for individuals with disabilities, and especially for those that have served our country,” says Addabbo.