Disabled Sports USA Far West Annual Ability Celebration hits Alpine Meadows Ski Resort | SierraSun.com
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Disabled Sports USA Far West Annual Ability Celebration hits Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Special to the Sun
Amy Edgett/Sierra SunThe competition was fast and fierce during the 2009 Phil Bocks Memorial Challenge. This year's event will be held March 25, as part of a week-long Ability Celebration with Disabled Sports USA Far West at Alpine Meadows.
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TAHOE CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Disabled Sports USA Far West, located at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, is hosting its week-long Ability Celebration through Saturday, March 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. andamp;#8220;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,andamp;#8221; said Deanna Gescheider, vice president of marketing and sales for Alpine Meadows. andamp;#8220;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,andamp;#8221; she added.

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 andamp; 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 andamp;#8212; two major rehabilitation centers for service members who have been injured or disabled. andamp;#8220;It’s important that we reach recently disabled service members early in the rehabilitation process,andamp;#8221; said Haakon Lang-Ree, program director at Disabled Sports. andamp;#8220;It’s an opportunity to expose them early to what they can do.andamp;#8221;

Teams of four racers comprised of event donors, sponsors, disabled skiers, and interested participants enjoy a 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, Friday, March 25. The race is named to honor former Truckee resident, Marine Corps Sergeant Bocks, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2007. andamp;#8220;The Phil Bocks Memorial Ability Challenge race is our way of recognizing the ultimate sacrifice made by Phil as well as all fallen warriors,andamp;#8221; said Lang-Ree Race. Registration is open to all. The registration fee for a team of four is $1,000, and can be placed by contacting Disabled Sports at 530-581-4161.

The Annual Ability Bash is renowned as one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fundraising events, to be held Saturday, March 26, 7 p.m. Guests will enjoy an evening of gourmet cuisine, live music, and a silent auction at the Alpine Meadows lodge. Tickets are sold out.

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 10th Mountain 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. Visit SkiAlpine.com or call 530-583-4232 for more information about Alpine Meadows. andamp;#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com


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