2020 grants will fund a variety of adventures including:
-making an adaptive surfing documentary
-travel for contests and recreation
-competition in a variety of sports
-lessons to improve skills
-equipment (all-terrain wheelchairs, wave skis, adapted surfboards, motorized scooters, race helmets for skiing)
The grants funded this year served to reduced financial obstacles for children, teens, adults and groups serving individuals with disabilities in our local community as well as nationally and internationally.
Although disabilities impact their lives in a variety of ways, what all grant recipients had in common was their desire to break down barriers and expand their ability to participate in physical activities. Stay tuned for updates on their adventures...
Caeden is the recipient of a grant in which funds were used to purchase a portable motorized scooter. Caeden thinks of it as a "transformer" like the characters in his favorite movie. Plus it is blue -- the only color he wants in his life according to his mother. Caeden has a love for living, a smile that lights up the room (we saw it first hand at the Winter Bash) and a dream for independence. With this scooter Caeden can explore the world a little more on his own!
Denise is the recipient of a grant in which funds will assist with travel expenses to compete in the International Surfing Association World Para Surfing Championships currently underway in California. Denise is proudly surfing for her country of Brazil! Not only has she excelled at her sport and gotten on the podium at regional and national championships in her country, but Denise is also a powerful environmental activist who is actively engaged in the movement to promote accessibility and adaptive sports.
Joel is the recipient of a grant to fund an all-terrain wheelchair that he can steer/drive when desired or someone else can push when he is tired. Joel is already feeling the freedom and going on adventures! As a kid with a fierce determination to live life to the fullest, Joel plans to explore the park, trails, playgrounds and of course the local beaches. Look out world — here he comes!
Hunter is the recipient of a grant to cover lodging so he can compete in the 2021 AccessSurf Hawaii Adaptive Surf Championships since the event was cancelled this year. Last year he charged hard and earned 2nd place in the Assist divison and 3rd in the Juniors division! Wish Hunter well as he heads into surgery tomorrow and pushes through extensive recovery with the goal to get back in the water.
Annemarie is the recipient of a grant to continue participation in therapeutic riding and equine-assisted therapy. She loves to ride horses because it makes her feel free, thinks of the farm as her “happy place” and has made lasting social connections. Just look at that smile! Annmarie finds that riding strengthens her core and stretches her hips better than any other exercise. Recently, during a drive-thru visit at Southern Delaware Therapeutic Riding, Annmarie was able to visit her friends and tell them she will be back in the saddle as soon as restrictions lift!
Devann is the recipient of a grant to purchase an all-terrain GRIT Freedom Chair that will allow her to complete her first Spartan Trifecta (5K, 10K & Half Marathon). Devann has completed the Spartan Sprint 5K numerous times with her crutches, but she is looking forward to challenging herself and achieving her dream adventure! Added bonuses... Devann can also walk her pup safely and continue her quest to climb the 46 Adirondack High Peaks.
Mariah is the recipient of a grant to offset travel expenses when participating in half marathons with her family. Her ultimate goal is to compete in every state! Racing is always an adventure and makes her feel free. Mariah loves meeting people, talking about inclusion and hearing the cheers from the crowds!
Rick is the recent recipient of a grant to help fund an all-terrain wheelchair and travel expenses to 3 national parks. He has a passion for the outdoors and fond memories of traveling to Arches National Park when he was young. Rick wants to share the same experiences with his kids and dreams of taking them to all of the national parks in the US!
Meira is the recent recipient of a grant to fund training and travel for big wave surfing. Meira was honored to be invited to compete in a big wave contest and hopes to make this dream come true when conditions are favorable. Team Surfgimp members had the pleasure of supporting Meira in the water at the US Open Adaptive Surfing Championships in California last year. Seeing her skills and dedication to the sport first hand leaves no doubt she will charge hard!
Pirata is the recent recipient of a grant to fund equipment expenses to compete in a Big Wave contest. Pirata is one of the most experienced athletes on the Brazilian national team. He recently secured his second world title in the Kneel category at the ISA World Para Surfing Championships, among many other podium finishes along the way!
João is the recent recipient of a grant to fund travel expenses to surf with his new waveski. He engages in regular physiotherapy and sessions at the gym to improve his physical strength. João is dedicated to chasing his dreams!
Kyle is the recent recipient of a grant to fund a custom waveski and an electric adapter to assist with wheelchair mobility on the beach. Kyle surfed in Hawaii this winter and “snagged a pretty big one” as he described it...waiting to see if any records were broken that day! We wish Kyle a speedy recovery as he is currently recuperating from a shoulder injury. He is already setting goals for a strong return to the water and plans to return to competition as soon as possible.
Camp Abilities Delaware are the recent recipient of a grant to help fund their educational sports camp for children who are blind or have low vision. They empower children to be physically active, improve their overall health & wellness, encourage food choices that support an active lifestyle, and develop confidence & self-esteem through sport and physical activity. Camp Abilities Delaware started as a 2 day event before growing to a week long day camp. Now they have plans to expand services to include overnight camp and target additional skills such as independent living, orientation & mobility, vocational goals, and social skills, just to name a few!
Lilly is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used to cover travel expenses to participate in snowboarding, surfing and horseback riding. Lilly always gives her best effort once she sets her mind to a goal. And she never lets obstacles keep her from chasing her dreams!.
Liv is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used to fund expenses for adaptive surfing competition. As a world champion, Liv is on a mission to achieve sporting excellence and already has many medals and trophies to pave the way. In a competition jersey she feels strong. Confident. Able to accomplish anything. Liv has obviously found her place in this world— she radiates pure joy while mentoring others, pushing her limits and charging hard!
Josh is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used to fund expenses while filming a documentary about adaptive surfing. After finding peace in the water and love from the community, Josh realized there were many amazing stories to be told. His included! Josh inspires people wherever he goes simply by being resilient and sharing his infectious spirit of gratitude.
Nicolas is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used to compete in an upcoming tournament of artificial waves on Gales in Snowdonia.
Pegleg is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used to compete in the ASL Adaptive Open & Hawaii Haleiwa Pro.
The Special Olympics of Oregon was awarded a grant in which funds will be used for helmets and scholarships for Special Olympics
Oregon skiers and snowboarders.
Johannes is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used towards an adaptive surfboard for competitions and for participants in his organization, Open Ocean.
Felipe is the recipient of a grant to fund travel expenses to compete in the Big Wave Adaptive Championship
Colt is the recipient of a grant to fund an all-terrain wheelchair to be able to access the beach & trails.
Jacob is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used towards travel expenses to compete in the adaptive surfing competition circuit.
Parker is the recipient of a grant in which funds will be used towards the cost of a custom adaptive surfboard.