impressive Fanfare at Grand Opening of the new SHARE Center.....
On Veteran’s Day, the grand opening of the
STRIDE Health and Recreation Education
(SHARE) Center took place at our headquarters in West Sand Lake. For the first time in Capital Region history, the newly renovated SHARE Center debuted our premiere adaptive sports and fitness community center and gym. Many well-respected NYS elected officials along with hundredes of well-wishers joined the CEO of STRIDE, Mary Ellen Whitney, in cutting the ribbon in honor of the official opening, including US Congressman Antonio Delgado, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, Assemblyman John McDonald, Assemblyman Jake Ashby, and several others. The generous support and donations this year from members of the Capital Region played a significant role in the final stages of completion, and without such backing the SHARE Center would not have been possible! The center was nearly 75% built by volunteers!
Major SHARE Center donors included:
American National Insurance
Architectural Glass & Meta
l, STRIDE Board of Directors, Bonded Cement,
, Crawford Door & Window Sales, Hynes Family Foundation, Keller Williams Realty, Kurt Butenhoff Family Foundation, Frank Wicks, GE Veteran’s Network,
, Homiack Brothers Plumbing, Farm Family Insurance, Frank Wicks, Paul O’Leary Family,
, RA Hunsdorfer Foundation,
, Studio Seven Architects, Team Rubicon, Troy Sand and Gravel, UPS Foundation, and Wilson Brothers Heating & Cooling.
Thank you to the many volunteers and companies that kindly volunteered their time and resources!
The SHARE Center now offers an extension of our current program amenities, designed with an elevator and two ADA-compliant bathrooms. The multi-program space and adaptive fitness gym will provide athletes with an innovative exercise space and allows STRIDE to offer other wellness programs. Additionally, the wounded warrior/family lounge, training and conference spaces plan to host organizations that provide services for like-minded topics and organizations, and fitness and nutrition education. “After years of research and dedication to perfecting this project, it finally came to fruition” said Mary Ellen Whitney, the Founder and CEO of STRIDE. “The exponential growth for adaptive sports and equality carried us to the next level of being able to serve our constituents with life changing experiences; and STRIDE as an organization is now sustainable for generations to come.” The SHARE Center will help to make the Capital Region a more inclusive and accessible community for under served individuals.
~ Congratulations to Karen Newkirk of GE Healthcare, on her retirement. We will miss your support!
~ Congratulations to Nora Kipp and Camille Pawlisky who successfully completed internships!
~ Congratulations to Phil Bayly on publishing his first book "Murder on Skis"
~ Thank you to the students of
who come every Monday to our offices for meaningful work jobs, helping clean and decorate for events
~Thank you to Leo at
for hosting a Thanksgiving Workout Event with proceeds to go to STRIDE on Turkey Day! Still time to sign up!!
STRIDE Sled Warriors to Face Off Against Union Hockey Teams
The Union Dutchmen and Dutchwomen hockey teams are preparing to host the STRIDE Adaptive Sports Sled Warriors on December 10, 2019. The fun-filled evening
takes place at the Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center in Schenectady from
5:45 P.M to 7:00 P.M.
The public is highly encouraged to attend and enjoy a night filled with friendly competition, great sportsmanship, and many laughs. At the event, d
onations will be accepted to support the Sled Warrior’s hockey team travel costs and game accommodations
Union College hockey team is comprised of elite D1 players who will learn humility by playing against the Sled Warriors. B
oth the men and women’s teams will play against the Sled Warriors in sleds!
During scrimmage, the playing field will be leveled and Dutchmen/Dutchwomen will not be as speedy or agile in their normal hockey positions.
Union College has always been a very strong supporter of STRIDE Adaptive Sport’s mission. In the summer months, Union offers STRIDE to use its facilities to run
“I Can Ride” bike camp
Similarly, this hockey scrimmage is another example of the extreme generosity Union College displays towards STRIDE’s adaptive sports programs.
Assistant Athletic Director,
Brianne Brinker, encouraged the idea of a scrimmage against these teams. Special thanks to
Union Women’s Hockey player Cheyenne Harris and Union Men's Hockey player Anthony Rinaldi—former interns at STRIDE Adaptive Sports—
their hard work and dedication making the event possible.
Warriors host Marine Corps Birthday Bash
Thanks to our Warrior liaison Don Tallman, TJ's Flightline Pub in Glenville, NY hosted the 5th Annual Marine Corps Birthday Bash on November 10. The celebratory evening featured several notable guests, including Iwo Jima Veterans from the local Capital Region. D
onations were accepted to support the supportive,
life-changing Wounded Warriors programs at STRIDE Adaptive Sports.The ceremonial cake cutting between oldest and youngest Marines in attendance was part of the agenda, including speeches from some of STRIDE Warrior Marines, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, and CEO Mary Ellen Whitney. .
Wish List - Immediate needs for SHARE Opening!
If you want to contribute a little piece to our new Center - here's what we need:
~ 2 small microwave ovens
~2 large Keurig coffee makers
~ large trash can
~ Living Room furniture set for the Warrior lounge
~3 Roku sticks for TV's;
~2 Corelle dish sets with coffee cups (12)
~ flatware sets and utensils; serving dishes
~3 new laptop computers;
~ 2 new small desks; several floor lamps
~25 acoustic ceiling panels for the gym
~20 large clear Tupperware storage bins
STRIDE Snowsport Season Off to an Early Start at Jiminy Peak!!!!
Jiminy Peak slopes opened to a strong start with full snow coverage on the western trails on November 16. We were thrilled to be out on the slopes en mass for getting our feet back under us in training and sliding.
We are excited to welcome all the new instructor candidates at the four adaptive Snowsport programs in four states -
, CT and
, RI who will soon be joining us on the slopes of Jiminy Peak for training sessions until teach are opened!
Did you know that STRIDE offers scholarship funding to provide awarded families ski lessons? Due to growing interest, our committee has created specific windows in time when they will be accepting applications in order to provide fair opportunities to all interested families. Applications can be found on our STRIDE webpage.
Dave & Marisa Clark Memorial fund
exists to offset any prohibitive costs that an applicant may incur to fully participate in any of STRIDE’s programs that have fees associated with a program. The ski programs have lesson fees which are collected by the host mountains (
); and the bike program has a $200 fee associated to offset the I Can Shine corporate costs incurred by STRIDE. Additionally, STRIDE’s $25 administration fee can be waived through this scholarship for multi-day programs.
Be between the ages of 4-21 at the beginning of the designated program.
Be a registered participant in STRIDE programs including current personal and medical information
Demonstrate financial need.
Complete application in full.
Submit one application per child by posted deadline.
Completed application must be postmarked or emailed between:
– January 1
for ski lessons; and
for bike program
Applications will be evaluated by the
Clark Memorial Fund Committee
. Consideration for award will be based upon financial need, need for adaptive instruction/experience and availability of funds. Applicants will be notified by email following the application deadline.
We are Thankful!! Your support has made STRIDE a Sustainable organization
Message from the CEO
Opening the SHARE Center was a labor of love and the pinnacle of my career, a 35 year journey with ever-changing consecutive visions to get us to a place of sustainability, so that long after I am gone, STRIDE will thrive.
The last 6 years have been the hardest and yet the most successful. It began with a seed thought of owning our headquarters. With the help of friends in real estate, architecture, contracting, and engineering, my vision came to fruition after a 3.5 year search for the perfect spot which led to West Sand Lake!
With a hardhat and hammer, I began a new learning curve in my career in construction project management; and then for the last month was in interior decorating. My mantra of 'Design on a Dime' landed dozens of contractors and volunteer groups who literally built the SHARE Center with all free labor. Close to 75% of our labor and materials were donated.
The Grand Opening was a surreal experience with the realization of what I have built over the course of a 35 year career; from a young teacher to CEO of a large sustainable organization. The next phase will be building the programs in this facility to become a highly used community resource. We are already entertaining partnership suggestions form numerous agencies and school districts! Watch us grow!
My thankfulness during this holiday period, cannot be measured, and I am bursting with gratitude for every person or group who helped me along my journey! Heartfelt thanks to all!
Partnering with Sunnyview Rehab Hospital Gives New Patients Hope...
Recently, STRIDE partnered with Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital to create memorable experiences for some of their new patients to give them hope that they can continue leading a healthy, active lifestyle. As we like to say here at STRIDE, “
Turn disability into THISability”.
Pictured is Tyler, a hockey player throughout his youth previous to a spinal cord injury. Together, we provided him the opportunity to get into a sled at Union College. Some members of the men’s Union hockey team joined him him to hit the puck back and forth, shoot some goals, and talk about the game. The team then gave him tickets to attend their rival game against RPI that evening.
This month we partnered again with Sunnyview to give a patient, whom previous to stroke, was an avid hunter, to relearn by shooting an air rifle. STRIDE's air rifle target shooting program in the Mueller Center at RPI and our program leader Chuck Meyer, graciously opened their shooting range to create another memorable experience. Now he is able to recognize that he will still be able to participate in his beloved activities with just a little modification.
We are ready and waiting to provide more experiences, such as these, to more of their patients to give them hope for the future.
Big Event! Fifth Annual 100K Vertical Challenge.. Now open for Registration!
Calling Volunteers of STRIDE: Join in on the fun for our 2nd Better Together Event!
What's Happening at STRIDE This Fall.....
Latham Spare Time
Saturdays at 10am
(10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/16, 11/23, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21)
East Greenbush Bowling Center
Saturdays at 11am
(10/19 — 12/21/19)
2699 Curry Rd, Schenectady
Sunday’s 4:00– 5:00 pm
(11/3- 3/29 ) Ages 8 – 21
Sled Hockey:Capital District Sled Warriors —
Practices at Albany County Hockey Facility ice rink; tournaments and games scheduled late winter and early spring.
*If you are interested in trying this sport, you may join the team for the last 30 minutes of the first practice of every month.**
Albany County Hockey Facility, 830 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211
October – April on Sundays
Learn to Dance —
Learn basic, contemporary, and hip-hop dance styles in an integrated setting - teens teach kids!
Isabelle School of Dance
, 1580 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton
4:45 - 5:30pm | Ages 5 - 21
(9/21 - 11/16)*NO CLASS 9/28 OR 10/12
159 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY
Learn jazz, tap , & ballet
Fridays 6:05- 7:05pm (10/18 through 11/30)
Target Shooting —
RPI Mueller Center
15th street & Sage Avenue Troy, NY
Sundays 1:30 - 3pm | Ages 10 & up - Warriors and Veterans welcome!
(10/6 and 10/20, 11/3, 1/19, 2/2 and 2/16, 3/15 and 3/29, and 4/19)
Skiing and Snowboarding -
to make a reservation or get information for our four sites:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank this months contributors and following groups, clubs and individuals for their financial and in-kind support. These contributions help make STRIDE adaptive programs possible:
James & Marie Moorhead
Karl & Ann Vehlies
Mary Ellen Whitney
Foundations and Funds
Price Chopper Golub Foundation
The Estate of Kathryn Allen
American National Insurance
Lavelle & Finn, LLP
VanGorkam Yacht Design
Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club NY VI
Knights of Columbus John J. Curran Council No. 7606
In Honor of Sharon Beilinson & Doug Hadjin
In Memory of John Wyszomirski