This is WHY we do what we do.....
Dear STRIDE Staff:
"Our son Andre ( called 'A') is a 10 yr old with autism. He speaks little (a word here or there) but becomes silent in new situations. We wanted him to have a sleepaway summer camp experience as we both loved camping as kids. Before attending the SCORE Camp, he had
r spent a night away from us. Therefore we were understandably nervous to put him in a new situation, over a 2.5 hour drive from home. We spent weeks talking about how much fun this would be' and A got excited as it got closer. We chose Music & Movement weekend, as he loves to play drums and sing.
We bought him a new sleeping bag, carefully packed and set off on this adventure. When we pulled in to camp, we were greeted by Stefon, and immediately felt at ease. As A walked around and explored the campsite, we had a strong sense that 'A' had found "his people"; a community of acceptance and belonging, made up of people with varying abilities who all supported each other. "A' was quick to sit in a camp chair in front of the fire pit; he barely said goodbye as we left. When we came back to pick him up on Sunday morning, Stefon told us that 'A' participated in activities and seemed to have fun, although he did not speak much, and ate very little. As we were pulling out of the SCORE site, we asked 'A' whether he wanted to go back for another weekend. After some thought he said "Yes".
Two weeks later we were back, and this time 'A' ran from the car to sit with the group, barely glancing back at us. When we picked him up on Sunday morning, we were told that he talked, ate, participated and had a great time! He barely acknowledged our arrival (a good sign). That evening after dinner at home, 'A' asked for more water - instead of his usual gesture or other form of nonverbal communication, he actually spoke the words "water, please" without any gestures at all. This was a
big breakthrough and his speech has continued to improve in the past month
. Finding "his people" has helped 'A' to see that while there are many types of differences, we are all just trying to belong." Thank you, from Josh & Beth Dunn, parents.
~ Sympathy to volunteer Elise Stillo on the loss of her Mother in law
~ Welcome to 3 new sled hockey team members Abby, Brenda and Christine!
~Best Wishes to Sherrie Bradway, Snowsport Director at Jiminy Peak as she transitions to a new career opportunity
~ Congratulations to Warrior Steve Pechecek as he takes reigns of the Sled Hockey team management; and thanks Kim Wilson for many years of support to the team!
~ Huge Thank you to GE Veterans Network for all the construction help in our SHARE Center as we prepare for a grand opening in November!
Welcome New Adaptive Snowsport Trainer, Kim Seevers
Kim Seevers has been involved in the ski industry for more than 35 years as an instructor, coach, educator and director for the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). A former boarding school teacher, Seevers currently just retired as full-time grant writer for the ASF in Windham, NY. While coaching there, she met 4-year-old visually impaired Staci Mannella. The two began training and racing together in 2009 when Mannella was just 11, and they became a dynamic duo to compete in Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
STRIDE is fortunate to gain Seevers as our Adaptive SnowsportsTraining Director this season!
While she is not on the slopes or working in the ski industry, Seevers enjoys reading, quilting and Crossfit / weightlifting and is a World Masters Weightlifting champion!!
Welcome New Board Member, Curtis Butler, Finance Advisor
Curtis joined STRIDE in 2019 as a veteran investment professional and the father of a child with multiple physical challenges, who has been a frequent participant in the organization’s adaptive skiing program. He brings a wealth global and financial experience, working since the early nineties for such institutions as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Lazard Frères, and J.P. Morgan. Curtis a graduate of nearby Union College and has a master degree in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University. Curtis brings a wealth of financial and global experience and serves on the Board’s Finance committee. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Darien, CT. In his free time, Curtis serves on his town’s legislature, provides mentoring to college students and young professionals, and spends as much time with his family as he can.
STRIDE Early Snowsport Season Training Gearing up!!
Believe it or not,
marks the start of our early season snowsport training and is a busy time at STRIDE; hundreds of volunteer coaches attend indoor training sessions before we welcome skiers and snowboarders for the opening weekends for our winter program. All our volunteer coaches attend 20 hours of training each year. We have an impressive crew of about 30 experienced/certified trainers who lead training clinics for their fellow instructors. In addition, we bring in trainers from the
Professional Ski Instructors of America & American Association of Snowboard Instructors
to add a different perspective.
September 24 Train the Trainers: we explored tools that are available to help teach our students the best lesson possible.
We are blessed to have some great trainers in the four adaptive Snowsport programs in four states - Jiminy Peak, MA; Catamount, NY; Ski Sundown, CT and Yawgoo Valley, RI who put a lot of energy into the creation of educational training sessions.
We Brewed up some outstanding funding at Nine Pin Cider's 2nd Annual Brewfest!
An open-air atmosphere, good friends, a fun auction, games, great food and drink,relaxing to the sounds of pearl, a local band who’s lead singer is a veteran was the highlight of our summer fundraising efforts. Raising $18,000 with little effort, STRIDE has found its niche in creating new ways for people to get together and support of our fund raising efforts.
The surprise of the evening was Calvin Paterson, 2018 Wounded Warrior from Philadelphia who skied with us this winter and debuted his amazing musical talent at our JP Saturday party. He showed up at our event to play with the band once again! The members of
secretly coordinated the surprise and we were
with their singing and playing talents together.
Northeast Association for the Blind enjoy a day at SCORE camp!
Our SCORE camp in Chatham hosted a fun, action packed day for kids and teens from the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany on a beautiful Saturday this month! Participating in archery, yoga, and hiking, this group thrived in our outdoor environment. Special thanks to STRIDE Warrior Tim McDonough,AFW2 archery coach and Kristine Sigler, Adaptive yoga coach, and Stefon Stillwell, Level I archery coach for making programs for VI kids possible. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, and participated - we look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Better Together Appreciation!
A huge thank you to June Farms for hosting this night of relaxation for our wonderful volunteers! We hope everyone had as much fun as we did - keep an eye out for our next Better Together next quarter!
What's Happening at STRIDE This Fall.....
Swimming Program East Greenbush NY YMCA—
Team/ Intermediate Swim
Sunday’s 9:30– 10:30 | Ages 8 — 21
(9/8 – 11/10/19)
One hour swim does not require team participation; intermediate swimmers welcome to improve skills. Stingrays,
competitive swim program athletes must be able to swim 25 yds.unassisted
10:45- 11:15 am & 11:20- 11:50 am | Ages 5
ocus: sensory transition, basic instruction, and water safety.
Participants are provided space in the program on a first come, first serve basis
Offered in 2 locations
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
Depending on the amount of participants, the program leader will divide the group in half and alternate weeks of lessons.
Sled Hockey :
Capital District Sled Warriors
Practices at Albany County Hockey Facility ice rink; tournaments and games scheduled late winter and early spring. Equipment includes a uniform, helmet, neck guard, shoulder pads, gloves, elbow pads, shin guards, sled, and pick. It is recommended to have sturdy shoes or boots to protect your feet. For more information on joining the team, please contact
*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, NY
4:45 - 5:30pm | Ages 5 - 21
(9/21 - 11/16)
*NO CLASS 9/28 OR 10/12
Target Shooting —
RPI Mueller Center
15th street & Sage Avenue Troy, NY
Sundays 1:30 - 3pm | Ages 10 & up - warriors welcome!
(10/6 and 10/20, 11/3, 1/19, 2/2 and 2/16, 3/15 and 3/29, and 4/19)
Fall Golf Dates TBA soon!
Big News!! On-line Registration Now Available on our Website!
We are happy to report that we have now
updated our registration process for all. Not only will athletes have an easier time to get involved with our programs but volunteers and Wounded Warriors as well. We are looking forward to a stream-lined process for everyone and hope you have patience in the new transition period. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the office for assistance. If you do not have access to a computer and still need to use paper copies of our registration form, one can be made available.
This page is live on our website now! If you would like to update your registration in the near future, feel free give it a try.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank this months contributors and the following groups, clubs and individuals for their financial and in-kind support. These contributions help make STRIDE adaptive programs possible:
Mary Ellen Whitney
Foundations and Funds
Marc S. Zeplin Foundation, Inc.
American National Insurance
Hoffman’s Car Wash
Troy Sand & Gravel
Chatham Highway Department
New York State Office of the State Comptroller
Town of Chatham