NEWRY — With a mission of providing equipment, guidance, and smiles to adults and children with disabilities, Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation has offered adaptive sports, inclusion, and joy to thousands since its inception in 1982.

Based in Bethel, Maine Adaptive utilizes the beautiful landscape and terrain of our state to nurture the athletic and recreational passions of people with disabilities.

The organization is funded through the support of businesses and foundations, including Norway Savings, which has donated over $20,000 to Maine Adaptive in recent years and is proud to serve as a sponsor of the 36th Sunday River Ski-A-Thon, Maine Adaptive’s annual fundraiser on March 24 (www.maineadaptive.org/skiathon).

‘When you consider the crucial benefits Maine Adaptive offers to so many people, it’s such a point of pride for Norway Savings to be considered a key sponsor,’ said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings. ‘The stories we hear from participants and the real difference this program makes in their lives are inspiring and truly meaningful. To play a small part in being able to help this staff and volunteers deliver top quality adaptive sports programs all year long is a privilege.’

In the last year, over 400 Maine Adaptive volunteers have provided more than 3,000 lessons in alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cycling, golf, tennis, pickleball, mountain biking, climbing, and paddling.

‘Most of these lessons are offered for free, eliminating one of the key barriers to gaining access to the experience of adaptive sports and recreation,’ said Enock Glidden, Development Coordinator for Maine Adaptive. ‘These fitness activities help participants enjoy themselves while further developing independence and confidence. They are able to appreciate the joys and challenges of sports participation.’

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‘Being blind can sometimes feel like living in a still and isolated world, but when I am skiing, cycling, or kayaking, I am getting to feel the world around me, and it makes me feel alive!’ said one Maine Adaptive participant.

‘Thank you for giving skiing and the mountains back to me,’ said another.

With the rekindling of fun and excitement in the lives of young and old, the difference Maine Adaptive makes on our communities and their athletes may well be limitless.

‘My gratitude for these contributions cannot be measured,’ said Steve Palleschi, President of the Maine Adaptive Board of Directors. ‘We believe that having access to and participating in recreational sports is integral to a well-rounded life for every person, and we are so grateful to be able to continue providing these life-changing opportunities.’

‘Maine Adaptive has brought freedom back into my life,’ said one participant. ‘After missing it for so long, I can truly say it’s the best feeling in the world to have it back!’

For more information about Maine Adaptive, including how to participate, volunteer, or to make a donation to support its cause, visit www.maineadaptive.org or call 207-824-2440.

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