Adaptive Skier on Groomer

Sugarbush’s Adaptive Sports Triumvirate

In recent years, Vermont Adaptive has been complemented by the creation of two organizations that further support the adaptive sports world. And the collaboration between the three is inspiring. The KELLY BRUSH FOUNDATION (KBF) was founded after Brush—a Green Mountain Valley School and Middlebury College graduate—suffered a spinal cord injury during a collegiate ski race. The KBF provides grants to those with spinal cord injuries, allowing them to afford the necessary equipment to get back into their sport, be it skiing, cycling, hockey, or another pursuit. The KBF also provides funding for race programs to augment their safety initiatives, including the purchase of B-net race fencing and spine protectors for racers. Often, athletes who are reintroduced to their sport through Vermont Adaptive are subsequently awarded grants through the KBF to purchase their equipment. And for the last few years, the KBF has held a Community Ski Day for its supporters at Sugarbush, with support and monoskiing demonstrations from Vermont Adaptive. The Kelly Brush Ride, held in Middlebury each September, raises over $500,000 annually for the organization. Since 2006, the KBF has helped 740 athletes from forty-seven states purchase adaptive sports equipment.

The HIGH FIVES FOUNDATION was created by Mad River Valley skier Roy Tuscany, who suffered a spinal cord injury while training in Mammoth, California. Tuscany credits his injury recovery to the support and “high fives” he received from the many people who helped him along his journey. Tuscany’s organization raises injury prevention awareness, and provides resources and inspiration to those who have suffered an injury. In 2011, the foundation opened the C.R. Johnson Healing Center in Truckee, California, where their athletes work out with a trainer, cost free, toward their fitness recovery. Fitness classes and machines, physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic services are all part of the offerings. The support that High Fives provides athletes is wide-ranging, from customfit ski boots and skis to annual training programs at the National Sports Center for the Disabled to living expenses. The foundation’s B.A.S.I.C.S. video series, with titles like Helmets Are Cool and Know Your Park, inspires athletes, particularly youth, to be safe while pursuing their passions. The High Fives Fat Ski-A-Thon is an annual event at Sugarbush that, since 2012, has raised more than $1 million for the organization. In 2016, High Fives partnered with Vermont Adaptive to bring a U.S. Olympic Committee Adaptive Race Camp to Mt. Ellen’s Inverness Race Arena, led by four-time Paralympian Chris DevlinYoung. As of spring 2019, High Fives has helped 206 athletes from thirty-one states along their road to recovery.