In This Issue: VA Medical Center Lunch Retreat at Renewal Coalition; National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic; Scuba Program; Handcycling
This is the time of the year we all give thanks. We at Veterans Adaptive Sports (VAS) have been so fortunate to be able to translate your support into adaptive sport programs that improve the lives of our most severely disabled veterans and their families. Our mission continues: to promote rehabilitation of disabled military service veterans through adaptive sports serving our veterans with spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments and neurological injuries.
We want to share our 2017 plans and ask for your support. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. We are a completely volunteer organization designed to direct the lion share of your donations to our services. No overhead. Help us make a difference by visiting our website.
Bobby Symonds and President/Co-Founder Doug Tuttle
We begin our 2017 season with our annual Telluride CO ski week February 4-11. Each year we assemble our disabled veterans team reaching out to those who are in need to build their self-confidence, esteem and encourage healthy lifestyles. We are proud to once again work with TASP (Telluride Adaptive Sports Program) who provide the adaptive ski equipment, lessons and volunteers.
VAS Skiers and Family with TASP Instructors and Volunteers 2016
VA Medical Center Lunch Retreat at Renewal Coalition
Each quarter Renewal Coalition hosts our Lunch Retreat in for the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center veterans. In 2016, we were able to serve over 200 disabled veterans who are being treated by the Community Living Center (CTC), Blind Rehab Center (BRC) and Outpatient Mental Health Programs (PRRC & MHICM). VAS will continue to sponsor the Lunch Retreats for 2017, now a very popular event for these great individuals.
Our VA Lunch Retreat Volunteers
National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
Each year VAS supports the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (WSC) by helping disabled veterans in need with the costs to attend. Snowmass Colorado will again host this event on March 26th - April 1st. This event is a world leader in adaptive winter sport instruction for U.S. military veterans and active duty servicemen and women with disabilities. The WSC allows our veterans to pack more miracles into the weeklong, life-changing event than they ever dreamed of. They are reminded of the wonder and achievement life still has to offer, despite their profound disabilities.
David Williams – Our Future Paralympian
Adaptive scuba diving has become a main stay for our disabled veterans and has attracted new participants each year. We continually certify these new divers who then qualify to become part of our Scuba Program. We have partnered with Veterans Ocean Adventures (VOA) who train Buddy Divers to support the disabled diver and coordinate dive boat logistics here in South Florida. In 2017, we will continue our Monthly VOA Dive Plan. These dives are "free" to all disabled veterans. The dives are funded through a combination of VOA grants and VAS contributions.
Just Certified and Ready to Dive
We will also attend and support Special Operations Forces (SOF) Bionic Wounded Warriors during the Annual Weeki Wachee Warrior Challenge and Formula H20 ® underwater racing events which will be held in April. Qualifying to attend this event is a major goal of VAS disabled divers. This will be our 4th year.
Annual Weeki Wachee Scuba Challenge 2016
Our 3rd Annual Summer Scuba Camp for new and experienced adaptive divers is in the planning stages. This past year we went to Key Largo where we had two dive boats for two days with over 40 disabled veterans and Buddy Divers participating. Our veterans also had another great experience, swimming with the dolphins.
VAS and VOA Divers – Key Largo Summer Camp 2016
Handcycling enables our disabled veterans to stay fit all year round. We encourage this on a recreational basis and for some, set their goals to compete. To further motivate our disabled veterans, we will stage our first handcycling trip to Moab, Utah in 2017. They will camp and cycle on road and off trail through Moab National Park through The Canyonlands and The Arches.
Josh Sharpe – Recreation to Competition
Thank You Partners and Sponsors
Admirals Cove Cares Charity Foundation
Marine Corps League Detachment 1058
Orlando Ski Club
Tampa Bay Snow Skiers and Borders
The First Tee of the Palm Beaches
Westchester All Stars for Wounded Veterans
The Beson Family Foundation
The William Symonds Family Foundation
The Scuba Club, West Palm Beach
Florida Ski Council
Force E Dive Shop, Riviera Beach
The Honda Classic and United Technologies
Nam Knights, Palm Beach Chapter
Narcosis Dive Center, Riviera Beach
Satellite Beach Ski Club
Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP)
Veterans Ocean Adventures (VOA)
VA Medical Center West Palm Beach
We will continue our efforts to offer additional adaptive sports programs and support for deserving disabled veterans. It is our intention to continue to reach out to disabled veterans wherever they are and whenever they served and encourage their participation in adaptive sports and recreation to promote happy and healthy lifestyles.
Board of Directors, Veterans Adaptive Sports
Doug Tuttle, President and Co-Founder
Robert Symonds, Director and Treasurer
William Edwards, Director
Charles Kays, Director