13th annual 'Heroes' event involves many sponsors, volunteers
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- From Friday through Sunday, Bend-based nonprofit Oregon Adaptive Sports is hosting its 13th annual “Heroes” snow sports weekend for veterans with disabilities.
A total of 23 disabled veterans and their families from around the Pacific Northwest are 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 about 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 Veterans 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 nonprofit 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 snow sports 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.
About Oregon Adaptive Sports:
Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) is a Bend, OR based non-profit that provides year-round life-changing outdoor experiences for individuals with disabilities. OAS was founded in 1996 by volunteers who wished to make Central Oregon's ski slopes accessible to individuals with disabilities. Today, OAS serves over 450 individuals each year through nearly 2,000 experiences from the Cascade Mountains to the High Desert of Central Oregon. OAS plays a leading role in creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities to access the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest through adaptive skiing, snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, paddling, and golf. Learn more about OAS at https://www.oregonadaptivesports.org or follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OregonAdaptiveSports/ and on Instagram @Oregon_Adaptive_Sports.