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(WINTERGREEN, VA) – Wintergreen Adaptive Sports (WAS), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to improve the lives of people with disabilities through outdoor sports and recreation, has received two key grants to enhance its 2011 programming.

Disabled Sports USA, the largest organization in the country that supports recreational and sporting activities for people with disabilities, awarded WAS a $14,000 grant to support the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project (WWDSP) which includes the Wounded Warrior Weekend at Wintergreen Resort (Friday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 23), plus three new programs: Wounded Warrior instructor development, Every Day is Wounded Warrior Day, and race development for the US Paralympics team. WAS also received a grant from the Bama Fund of the Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation in the amount of $8,000 to support WWDSP.

“We’re excited to be able to grow and expand the outreach of our wounded warrior projects,” said Tom Brown, executive director of WAS. “With the large population of active and retired military in this region and the wonderful, multi-season recreation opportunities afforded at Wintergreen Resort, this funding will allow us to expand offerings and impact additional lives.” WAS offers instruction in alpine skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, canoeing and golf.

Wounded Warrior Weekend offers free lift tickets, lessons, equipment, food, and lodging for active duty or retired military who sustained permanent physical disabilities or who have post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of combat operations. Warriors who want to participate in the WAS event must apply in advance and be admitted to the event. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Military service members unable to meet the combat injury requirement, and with valid identification, still qualify for 20 percent discounts throughout the resort for Wounded Warrior Weekend.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, next to the slopes of Wintergreen Resort and adjacent to Wintergreen’s beautiful Lake Monocan, WAS offers fun, exhilaration and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Students cover a broad spectrum of ages and disabilities and over the past 17 years has operated according to the mantra, “from the top of our mountain, all you can see is possibility.”

“In a world full of limitations, our students feel the wind on their faces, the thrill of a speedy ride down the slopes, and the cold of the snow right along with the rest of the world,” Brown added. “Soldiers and marines, with bodies battered by war, discover that they can still be athletes.”

WAS has a highly trained, compassionate staff and volunteer corps who are aided by an ingenious array of adaptive snow sport and boating equipment. Students overcome blindness, paraplegia, cognitive disorders and traumatic brain injuries to experience the thrills of athletic endeavors.

For further information about the many options for adaptive skiing – from standing up to sitting down – or adaptive snowboarding, call 434/325-2007, email [email protected] or access the web site at www.skiwas.org.  

For more information about Wintergreen Resort visit www.wintergreenresort.com  or call 434/325-2200.

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