"Snowshoe Mountain is pleased to welcome the Wounded Warriors Project to the mountain for the second year is a row," Snowshoe's Laura Parquette said. "Snowshoe will welcome 17 veterans and their families for a weekend ski camp, March 6-8, with Snowshoe's Adaptive Ski Program. These special guests will be treated to free adaptive ski lessons, free lift tickets and rentals, as well as special programming including a Saturday evening reception."
The 17 soldiers, airmen, and marines taking part in this year's event will travel from around the region, including West Virginia, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and Fort Belvoir in Virginia. They are veterans of active duty, having served in the Army, Air Force and Marines. Most are currently on active duty or in transitional units. The weekend's activities are a joint effort of the Wounded Warriors program, Challenged Athletes of WV -a member of Disabled Sports USA- and Snowshoe's adaptive ski program, which offers disabled persons the chance to experience the slopes all season.
Because adaptive ski and snowboard equipment can cost as much as $3,000, many veterans cannot afford to participate in the sport on their own. The wounded warriors and their family members are provided these opportunities free of charge, including transportation, lodging, meals, adaptive equipment, and individualized instruction.
Parquettte said, "With the help of these programs, athletes can accomplish things they may have thought impossible after their injuries, finding joy, comfort and pride in reestablishing their athletic ability."
The servicemen and women will also be treated to special activities including a kids' pizza party, movie night and Soldiers' Reception during their weekend on the mountain.
The Wounded Warriors' Project is a national organization with a mission, "to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs." Wounded Warriors is dedicated to assisting in all facets of veterans' lives from the time they arrive home from the battlefield. Included in the programs offered is the Disabled Sports Project, which provides year-round sports programs.
Participation in activities including skiing and snowboarding, kayaking, biking and rock climbing has been found to help aid in the healing and rehabilitation for severely wounded service members. The sports program is a partnership between the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled Sports USA and takes place at sites throughout the Unites States.
Challenged Athletes of West Virginia is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization with headquarters at Snowshoe Mountain. Challenged Athletes has been providing year-round recreation opportunities for children and adults with disabilities for 12 years.