STRIDE June E-News
From the Desk of the CEO...
With so many great causes in our community, I thank you for the chance to tell you our story. I welcome people who are willing to champion our future. Over the past 5 of 34 years we’ve had a huge growth spurt bringing us to the forefront as a national leader in adaptive recreation programs in the Northeastern US. Our after-school extra-curricular programs continue to grow as a way of life for school age youth with special needs, as well as for disabled veterans. Our staff has grown to 4 full-time employees, managing 18 annual programs and many special activities , 4 major fund-raising events and proudly serving the disabled community with over 11,000 adaptive lessons taught for free.

In any given program you may see a veteran with a disability and a child with an intellectual impairment sit side-by-side enjoying an activity together.

As we just completed our fiscal year in May, I'm happy to report that we are financially and fiscally strong, with an increase in net revenues up 15% from 2017-18. Our talent continues to be the ability to leverage in-kind gifts to offset expenses (items with value that are not money) This year our in-kind gifts were valued at nearly $200,000 and includes everything from venue space, food to skilled labor to equipment, construction materials, goods and services.

As we continue to grow, our vision includes the full use of the SHARE Community Center, collaborating with other like-minded groups to bring more education to our communities. We hope you will continue to support us.
Congratulations to Kim Wilson,
Sled Hockey Program Leader, and
2019 Volunteer of the Year!!
Our Volunteer of the Year exemplifies the definition of a team player. Ten years ago,a fledgling sled hockey team called Bethlehem Eagles was a start- up program in Bethlehem NY for kids with mobility challenges. Kim came to STRIDE to partner and now today The Capital District Sled Warriors , our only team sport, has grown exponentially. She has continuously been the absolute best hockey mom for the past 10 years. She not only is the sled hockey’s team manager, but a volunteer that champions the organizations mission. She has helped connect the team in our community for the greater good of the organization . She has made it a priority to make sure that anyone feel welcomed with her innate motherly instinct. Her tenacity has exceeded expectations as demonstrated by placing 2 nd at Empire State Games and Champions of the New England Amelia Park Invitational Tournament this year. 
Additionally, she crosses over from sled hockey to other programs such as whitewater rafting, camping and skiing, where she involved her children to become volunteer ski instructors at Jiminy Peak where she was the primary carpool mom. An advocate for her son Luke, she helped secure him a paid college internship at STRIDE last summer . Even her husband Tom has been a volunteer, assisting not only the team as the first coach, but STRIDE in all the construction issues around plumbing and HVAC systems at the SHARE Center, donating time and materials continuously for years.
For all those reasons and more, Kim Wilson is STRIDE’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations Kim!
ALL of our events and program dates are listed on the STRIDE Homepage calendar.

I Can Ride Bike Camp!! June 23 - June 28. 40 STRIDE little athletes will learn to ride 2-wheeled bikes at Union College campus! Watch for details on our Facebook page!
We have constant needs to meet our supporters in person - so feel free to drop by and bring us some items we use on a continuous basis such as:
copy paper ;toilet paper and paper towels; cleaning supplies; Keurig coffee pods; dust buster; gardening supplies; batteries, garbage bags-all sizes.

Additionally we need a good Tool Box filled with all purpose tools such as hammers, mallet; pliers, screw drivers; power driver; blades; wrenches, etc...
Welcome New Secretary of STRIDE Executive Board of Directors, Linda Reiss
Reiss spent her entire career in the publishing industry, having spent 20+ years with Matthew Bender Company most recently as VP of Operations, then worked for an international software firm providing business systems to major publishers. She has an undergraduate degree in English and an MBA from the RPI Lally School of Management. Retired, Linda lives in North Greenbush with her husband Don where she enjoys participating in in several wood carving groups, traveling, and spending time at Saratoga Lake with her children and grandchildren. Their son Andrew, who has Down Syndrome and now an adult, was one of STRIDE's early athletes. Welcome Linda!
New SHARE Center Nearing Completion!
The new SHARE Center is nearing completion and will be a community space where people will become empowered and changed forever through the therapeutic programs we will be able to offer. This Community Center and adaptive gym is designed for collaboration with groups with like-minded missions and will open doors for a total health educational experience. Here, veterans will find the courage to come out of isolation making strides and new friendships that stick with them for a lifetime. This STRIDE concept began in 1985 with a Research study done by Whitney, proving the effects of skiing impacted ADLs and academic learning.Today, the value of Adaptive Sport is completely justified through hundreds of studies nationwide. The therapeutic programs we will be able to offer at the SHARE Center will change the trajectory of lives to carry for life.

The completion of this vision could not have been done without the support of a ton of donors and large groups of skilled labor teams such as Team Rubicon, Team RWB, GE Veterans Network; American National and Keller Williams employees and so many more. Additionally it was supported with the professional help of our project management team of John Van Oort, architect; Mike Hart & Mary Ellen Whitney, Project Managers; LJ Whitney, Engineer; Rich Livsey, Electrician; Tom Wilson, plumbing/HVAC; and Mark McClenahan, building assessor.

The last phase will be the completion of the elevator and Warrior /Family lounge on the first floor. Team GE Veterans Network will be assisting on this one in a few weeks!

We look forward to the upcoming full opening in early 2020!
We hope for your continued support. You can make a donation for the SHARE Center on our website!
STRIDE Swim and Bowl Teams Compete in State Special Olympics and bring home Heavy Metal!
Con gratulations to our STRIDE swim and bowling teams that competed in the New York Special Olympics State Games on June 15 th & 16 th . Our bowling team placed 3 rd  as a team led by Coach Diane Grugan- Duvall, our Latham bowling program leader,. In the single divisions, (From left to right) Zach placed 3 rd , Eddie 1 st , Willy 4 th , and Christian 3 rd . We are so proud of the hard work that they put in this year.
     Two of our STRIDE Stingray swim team members attended States at Vassar college last weekend with their coaches Emelia Carlino and Assitant Coach Marleah Lybolt. Our 2018 Athlete of the year, Bahiyyah Ruben placed 1 st in butterfly & 5 th  in the 50yd freestyle events. Joe Pierson also rocked it by placing 1 st in the 100 breaststroke and 2 nd in the 50 yd backstroke. We are proud of all these athletes who put so much effort into their skill development!
10th Annual Strides 4 STRIDE 5K Run, Walk &Roll A huge success ...What would you expect?
The weather was perfect for a run/roll or walk; and this event seamlessly met success in every way!
I am simply amazed how a diverse group can come together to raise awareness and funds for our small community non-profit all in one day. We did it! We raised $22,000 in a day! Although we did not have as many peer to peer fundraising pages claimed to cash in on support from your networks, we owe great thanks to our corporate partners, who I hope you will patronize and say thanks when the opportunity arises: 
A big thank you to STRIDE athlete Madison McCarthy & family who raised over $1500 on her fundraising page!! Also, a shout out to a new corporate team Terracon, who had the largest team members . Additionally – we thank the people who supported in-kind: The Albany Dutchmen ; PAL Explorers; Rose Cotrafeld, – Sport massages; Sparky the Clown – face painting; Stewart’s ice cream and all our volunteers!  
This year, we worked hard to build our own web-based platform, transferring our subscribed registration platform ( Classy) which took over 11% of every dollar raised. Thanks early registrants who worked with us with feedback. Our developer got all the bugs worked out, and we heard it was easy to use! Any additional feedback will help us continue to improve as we build our website for annual events, so money we raise stays ours!!
Click here for the times:
Photos from the day’s event can be found on our website here:     Thanks to our volunteer photographer Ottmar Klaas !
Save the Date!! Monday, August 26

Tickets for this event are limited and will sell out! Get yours now,
 just $35
SCORE Camping season is here!!
We need Volunteers! Sign up for a wonderful weekend experience changing the life of a child with special needs by introducing nature with them at our SCORE facility in Chatham NY! Contact Megan for more info! Click below for more info.
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:

Lynne Catelotti
Emily Chromczak
Jacqueline Chromczak
Donna Coombs
Jessica Cruz
Michael Curcio
Jay & Deirdre Epstein
Peggy & David Ernst
Terry & Maryse Folmsbee
Vicki Fredrick
Sean Fuller
Vicki & Daniel Gordon
Chris & Ed Gravelle
Heather Grimm
Nancy Johnson & Mom
Audry June
Roy Kelly
Tim Kong
MaryBeth LaDue
Craig Lineberry
Astrid Mahmouzian
Brendan McCarthy
Clare McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy
Madison McCarthy
James & Marie Moorhead
Nancy o’Leary
Steve Pechacek
Jon Phillips
Janet Scammell
Tracy Shallo
Stefon Stilwell
Michael Taglione
Jean Wheeler
Mary Ellen Whitney
Foundations and Funds
Keybank Foundation
Terracon Foundation
The GE Foundation
Businesses & Corporate Sponsors
American National Insurance Company
Amica Mutual Insurance Company
Decrescente Distributing, Inc.
Kinderhook Bank
Lavelle & Finn
Lia Cars
NPA Financial
Phillips Hardware
Stewarts Shops
CM Fox Charity, Inc.
Thomas B Flynn, Jr. American Legion Post #1035
Zion’s United Church of Christ
We’re proud to announce that STRIDE Adaptive Sports has just earned the Platinum Seal from Guidestar--the world's largest source of information on non-profit organizations. 
We’re committed to the highest level of transparency by showcasing the progress and results we’re making toward our mission! Check out our GuideStar profile here.

~ Deepest Sympathy to Mark & Suzi Moran on the loss of Suzi's Mom

~ Congratulations to ALL the HS and College graduates out there!!

~Congratulations to former ski coach Jake Davis on graduating from Merchant Marines and commissioning into Marines

~ Best of luck to Frank Ninavaggi, ski coach for 20 years, who is moving to Aubern NY. We will miss you!

~ Deepest sympathy to Mary Brundege and Shawn Fultz on the loss of her Mom.