Altruistic paddling: ‘Turning Point on Lake Tahoe’ sets sights high to improve lives
With roughly 72 miles of shoreline around Lake Tahoe, Candace Cable and Hillary Humphreys must raise about $97 for every mile they paddle to meet their fundraising goal.If the two Turning Point Tahoe members do raise the $7,000 by circumnavigating the lake on kayaks, three disabled local residents will benefit greatly from their efforts.You have to shoot for the stars for something like this. Its an altruistic goal, so absolutely we think well reach it, said Humphreys, a board member with Turning Point Tahoe, a chapter of the national nonprofit whose mission is to improve outdoor recreation for people with disabilities.Humphreys and Cable an accomplished disabled athlete from Truckee and the chapter director of Turning Point Tahoe will start their trip from Kings Beach on Aug. 15. Six days and five nights later the pair will return to their starting point in Kings Beach after paddling counterclockwise around the lake. Twice theyll stop during the day and post up for a meet and greet, once in Tahoe City and again in South Lake Tahoe, where theyll eat lunch while spreading word out about their cause. Prior to departure, Cable said she plans to set up a table during Truckee Thursdays on July 31, Aug. 7 and possibly Aug. 14 to raise funds for the trip officially named Turning Point on Lake Tahoe. Shell hand out info about the trip and sell $2 magnets that read, I am a money magnet. But passers-by may donate as much as they desire, Cable said.
The beneficiaries include Hunter Yeider, 11, Ben Sharp, 10, and Erin Freeman, 24.With the funds raised from the kayak trip, Turning Point Tahoe intends to buy Yeider a sleek new sports wheelchair. Sharp will receive a bi-ski and Freeman a new walker and a years supply of sliders for it, Cable said.Nothing is guaranteed because we dont have the funds yet, but I told them wed put our best effort into it to raise the funds, said Cable, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a 1975 car accident. Even if we come up short, well have something to give to their parents.Its all about quality of life, and Turning Point Tahoes mission is to improve peoples quality of life. In doing that, it also raises the standard of living in the area in general.
The state-of-the-art sports chair for Yeider, a soon-to-be sixth-grader at Alder Creek Middle School, will enable him to participate in a variety of sporting events. At 53 pounds, a lighter chair would make a significant difference in his ability and fatigue level compared with the bulky wheelchair he currently uses, said his mother, Faith.More than anything Hunter wants to participate on a more meaningful level in PE at school, Faith Yeider said. He is very outgoing and competitive and wants very badly to get out there more effectively. The difference between a sports chair and a regular wheelchair is like the difference between a station wagon and a sports car.Hunter is psyched about receiving the gift. Asked if hes thought about what he will do with his new chair, he excitedly rattled off several sports: Football! And baseball! And soccer! And wall ball!The chair is not cheap. Cable estimates a standard sports chair runs about $2,300. But she hopes to purchase the highest-end piece of equipment as possible, which could cost as much as $4,000.Im pretty excited for the opportunity to get Hunter a sports chair, because it will change his life entering middle school, Cable said.
Freeman said she appreciates Turning Point Tahoes offer to buy her a new walker and accessories, mainly sliders which are used on the back legs of wheeled walkers to reduce wear on surfaces.I think its a very nice program. Im really thankful for what theyre doing for me right now, she said.Cable said the new equipment is much needed, especially since Freeman goes through sliders so quickly.Erin always wears (sliders) out so fast because shes just a rocket always on the go, Cable said. We hope to get her a years supply (of sliders).It wont be as costly as Hunters sports chair. Because walkers are in higher demand than wheelchairs, Cable said she expects to spend about $400 on Freemans equipment.In the future Cable said she’d like to raise money to buy Freeman an adaptive snowboard.
For Sharp, a to-be fifth-grader at Glenshire Elementary School, owning a bi-ski will afford him the opportunity to ski independently of Alpine Meadows-based Disabled Sports USA. In past winters he received lessons and rented the specialized skis beyond those sessions, Cable said. Sharps mother, Emily Husted, said he averages about two or three ski outings a year. But if he has his own (bi-ski) he could go all the time, Husted said, adding that her sons real dream is to someday join a ski team with his friends. With the new bi-ski hell also be able to escape the confines of his house to ski with friends on school snow days.Were getting Ben a new bi-ski because then he can go skiing with his friends and family whenever and wherever he wants, Cable said.Thatll run about $2,500.
There are several ways to donate to the Turning Point on Lake Tahoe fundraiser. Visit the Make the Difference Network Web site at http://www.mtdn.com/tahoe, mail a check with return address to Turning Point Tahoe (P.O. Box 8264, Truckee, CA, 96162) or contact Candace Cable at 414-4804 or email@example.com.
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Students from North Tahoe and Truckee recently made the trip to Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley to compete in the annual Kays Ostrom Invitational.