Adaptive Ski Program
2nd Annual #GivingTuesday Movement at Holiday Valley
By Kerra Trivieri
The Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP) began in 1988 in honor of Bill Lounsbury who was a member of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol. Lounsbury taught himself to ski on one leg after losing the other due to cancer. Though he has since sadly lost his battle with the disease, his legacy lives on with LASP and their many worthwhile events during each winter season.
Coming up this month, the Ellicottville community is invited to celebrate Lounsbury and the #GiveAdaptiveSports #GivingTuesday charity campaign on Tuesday, November 28th.
“We began the event last year and we really did not know how it would work,” said Program Director Mary Ellen Racich. “Our goal this year will be $5,000 again, but we are looking for any amount to help continue the program. Most donors are local and the Ellicottville community has just been so wonderful and generous with LASP over the years.”
The campaign is encouraging participation in a 24-hour fundraising “blitz” to expand adaptive skiing opportunities for disadvantaged disabled community members, including youths and veterans. Disabilities may include anything from spinal cord injuries and amputations to Visual Impairment and Cerebral Palsy.
Any and all money raised will go directly towards purchasing new adaptive ski equipment. The first pieces of equipment for the program were purchased using donations that were sent to the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol.
“This year, we are looking to purchase another ‘slider,’ which is like a walker on skis,” Racich said. “It helps support arms and legs for people who experience difficulty walking and/or balancing. We have two, but we would like another one as they are very useful, especially for children.”
LASP also provides lessons and instruction regularly for disabled children and adults as well as funds for training volunteer instructors and scholarships for students in financial need. Over 250 lessons are taught during each ski season and a majority of the instructors are specially trained and certified through the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).
“We are looking forward to another busy year,” added Racich. “Our volunteers get trained and retrained every November and December to get ready for the season.”
To learn more about LASP, the #GivingTuesday campaign, or to donate, visit lounsburyadaptive.org.
Reservations for lessons can be made starting Wednesday, November 15. The LASP’s season will run from December 26-March 20.