Summer is whizzing right by, isn't it? There are so many great events happening, it's hard to choose which to miss. This isn't necessarily so when you are a parent of a child with a disability. You don't have the luxury of an entire menu of choices for events your child can attend. Legally, you should have the same choices as a parent of a child without a disability, but that's a story for another day.
As an advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities, the Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living is thrilled to be in a position to partner with Adirondack Pride in providing recreational activities for kids with disabilities.
Adirondack Pride is a local nonprofit whose purpose is to "provide people with all abilities opportunities to build confidence, foster independence and, promote health and wellness by participating in sports, outdoor recreation, social and leisure activities." (Yes, I got that straight out of the bylaws.) Tri-Lakes CIL plays only a small role in these activities but one that is pretty darn necessary in our rural area-transportation. More than that, wheelchair accessible transportation. More than that, wheelchair accessible transportation using our really spiffy bus - The Accessible Adirondacker. I just love that bus. That being said, let me say that all the hard work-the coordination, communication with parents, organizing volunteers, etc is done by Adirondack Pride.
Here is a brief synopsis of this summer's events so far and what Adirondack Pride has planned in the coming months.
July saw two events, Blue Mountain Lake Museum on July 17 and therapeutic horseback riding at the Adirondack Stables in West Chazy, on July 31.
A total of 18 children and young adults from the Tri-Lakes attended these trips with peer and adult volunteers. These have been the first two in a series of five activities for children with special needs, sponsored by Adirondack Pride, Inc.
This is the second summer that Adirondack Pride is able to provide these activities to children free of charge, thanks to a grant awarded by Senator Betty Little and by money raised by Adirondack Stride for Pride Road Race. The next event was therapeutic horseback riding at the Adirondack Stables in West Chazy on Aug. 16. (I have yet to be debriefed on that one as I am writing this on Aug. 17. I did, however get a thumbs up from our bus driver when he came back with the bus at around 4:30 p.m. yesterday)
There are two more summer events planned, so it's not too late to get involved-either as a participant or a volunteer. (You should know that whenever you deal with a nonprofit-we are always in need of volunteers!) The events are John Dillon Park in Long Lake for fishing, boating and games on Aug. 23, and wrapping up the summer with the Wild Center Museum and swimming at the Sunmount therapeutic pool in Tupper Lake on Aug. 30.
Transportation to and from events is provided from central locations in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid by Tri Lakes CIL's beautiful bus.
Here's something you have probably heard of but may not have connected the dots. Stride for Pride. Ah ha! Yeah, Stride for Adirondack Pride. I knew about the race long before Tri Lakes CIL became involved with Adirondack Pride. This is the annual race at beautiful Fish Creek Campground during the most beautiful time of the year - fall.
As we've only recently been involved with Adirondack Pride, I have to say I was truly amazed at the amount participants in the race. I was also shocked to see so many volunteers. (Hey, not that more couldn't be very well utilized, don't get me wrong) Adirondack Pride has this event down to a science. One of the volunteers is one that you will not see at the race but his presence is all over the place. David Benham. David Benham is the designer of the t- shirt logo for the second year in a row for the 14th Annual Stride for Pride Race which will be held on September 19th. David is a 2010 graduate of Saranac Lake High School and will be attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for Graphic Design and Advertising. What creativity this guy has! (Yes, I have over used the word "beautiful" but that's the kind of mood I happen to be in today-everything is beautiful.)
So as I said before, there truly are a lot of great events going on all over the Tri Lakes region this summer. It's not easy for parents of children with disabilities to find great events that their children can fully participate in-but if you look really hard they are there. If you'd like more info on the beautiful bus, Adirondack Pride or any other disability related issue-Tri Lakes CIL is your resource. Stop in at our office at 43 Broadway, right next to the Post Office, or call us at 891-5295.