The MVSB Fund has awarded a $5,000 grant to Granite State Adaptive (GSA) of Mirror Lake, NH. The organization will use these funds to provide scholarships to children at local school districts who would otherwise be unable to afford adaptive ski lessons and participate in their school’s winter ski program.
Granite State Adaptive was created to provide individuals of all ages with disabilities in the Lakes Region the opportunities to develop independence, confidence, life skills and fitness through participation in recreational programs such as winter sports, cycling and horseback riding. Beginning in January each year, they serve disabled children who ski at King Pine Ski Area with the following elementary schools: Tuftonboro, Crescent Lake, Ossipee, Madison, Freedom, Brett School, Oyster River, New Durham, Effingham and Lakeview. In 2014, the organization provided 50 disabled students with a total or nearly 200 adaptive ski and snowboard lessons.
“It can require several trained instructors and highly specialized equipment- with a cost of up to $3500- to provide just one disabled child the opportunity to ski or snowboard with their school,” said Jennifer Fraser Haynes PT, Executive Director for Granite State Adaptive. “We are so appreciative of this grant, which will help give schools and parents the opportunity to provide outdoor learning experiences to children with special needs.”
“For many of our participants this is the first time they’ve felt the air blowing across their face from outdoor activity,” said Granite State Adaptive volunteer, Jonathan Haynes. “Granite State Adaptive’s programs give disabled individuals the opportunity to fully participate in experiences that they may normally be excluded from, along with a sense of pride and accomplishment that extends far beyond the training we provide them.”
Though the ski season has come to a close, Granite State Adaptive is busy preparing for their warm-weather programs: adaptive cycling and horseback riding. The organization’s Mirror Lake location includes a fully accessible barn, office, riding ring and trails. Therapeutic horseback riding lessons, sensory trail rides and Hippotherapy are provided on site by Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Heidi McBride Costello and Level Two Hippotherapy Specialist, Jennifer Fraser Haynes PT.
Granite State Adaptive works with individuals from ages 2 through 80 who have physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities as well as those who are visually impaired, blind or hearing impaired. Targeted outreach is conducted toward physically and developmentally disabled youth and adults, disabled veterans, active service men and women and at-risk youth. It is their mission to provide individuals who have a disability the opportunity to develop independence, confidence, life skills and fitness through participation in sports, therapy, training and recreation programs. To find out more about Granite State Adaptive and how you can participate or contribute, please visit http://www.gsadaptivesports.org/
MVSB established the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund in 1997 under the leadership of John Starrett who was then president and CEO of the Bank. Since then, 248 grants totaling more than $971,992 have been awarded to a wide range of environmental, social, educational, and historic projects throughout the Greater Lakes Region and Plymouth areas. Over the years, the Fund has supported literacy programs, after-school programs, environmental monitoring and education, restoration of historic structures, organizations that provide support for individuals and families in challenging circumstances, and equipment that helps save lives. The deadline for consideration for the 2014 grant cycle is October 15, 2014. Applications are available on the Bank’s website (www.mvsb.com) and at all MVSB offices.
Photo: (Left to right) MVSB Assistant Vice President and Branch and Business Development Officer, Marcus Weeks presents a check to Granite State Adaptive volunteer, Jonathan Haynes, Executive Director Jennifer Fraser Haynes PT and Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Heidi McBride Costello.