“Skiers know better than anybody; you fall in life and you get back up,” says Eric Topper, the Outreach Coordinator at Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation.
That mantra of resiliency embodies a no-cost program that Maine Adaptive hosts every year at Sunday River in Western Maine. It’s called “Veterans No Boundaries.”
The program provides recreational activities for veterans and active duty personnel with physical disabilities who require adaptive instruction, equipment and/or support in order to participate in sports. The Veterans No Boundaries program is held twice a year for veterans to help them either return to a sport or try one for the first time after becoming disabled. The program also seeks to involve family members and caregivers. Like all Maine Adaptive programs, the weekend and program is entirely free of charge for all attendees
Since the Veterans No Boundaries program was founded in 2004, it has been made possible through the generosity of various donors and sponsors, as well as by the efforts of dozens of volunteer instructors, guides and medical attendants. Sunday River provides lift tickets, trail passes and discounted lodging for each winter program. Veterans No Boundaries receives primary year-round financial support from Disabled Sports USA and Bath Iron Works. Numerous other local businesses, clubs and individuals have contributed meals, lodging discounts, snowmobiling and evening entertainment for this year’s program.
Veterans No Boundaries also enjoys transportation support from the Hero Miles program of the Fisher House Foundation, a service that provides free round-trip airfare to wounded, injured and ill military men and women, and/or their families. Five veterans and several of their guests were flown to Maine using Hero Miles to participate in this year’s winter program.
“The veteran community is a tight one”, says Topper. “just like the disability community is also tight.”
“These guys come from different branches of the military but they speak the same language. That’s what gives this unique program an opportunity to tie into that and allow them to grow, have some fun – and get back up once they fall down. ”
For more information about Veterans No Boundaries or Maine Adaptive, please visit www.maineadaptive.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-639-7770.