MARCH 18 - MAINE ADAPTIVE SPORTS & RECREATION

 

Guests:  Peter Adams (speaker)  (Powell)

 

Members We Missed:  Andrews, Blair, Dunham, Fraher, Hart, Laux, Murphy, Powell, Roma, Thrall, Tyler, Whitney, Wight

 

Peter Adams, executive director of Maine Adaptive, described its history, current activities, and vision for the future.  It was the initial idea of Dr. Omar (Chip) Crothers, who joined with Les Otten to found Maine Handicapped Skiing in 1982.  Dr. Crothers had observed that a young cerebral palsy patient could ski surprisingly well, and was impressed with the therapeutic effect it had.  The organization has grown steadily over the years, in both size and scope of activities.  Its activities first expanded to include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and more recently has expanded to include summer activities such as cycling, kayaking/canoeing, and golf.  The expanded scope led to changing the name to Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation.  There are now over 400 volunteers serving over 500 students.  It is entirely free -- the largest free adaptive program in the country.  One of the primary fundraisers is the annual spring Ski-A-Thon, scheduled for March 29 this year.  As to a future vision, Peter sees the possibility of <u1:U1:CITY w:st="on"><u1:U1:PLACE w:st="on">Bethel becoming a world-class visitor destination as a "center of adaptive excellence."  His presentation concluded by demonstrating (with Scott Hynek' assistance) a state-of-the-art mono-ski device, which allows a person with no leg strength to ski from a sitting position.