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Adaptive ski program receives grant from Ronald McDonald House

The Whistler Adaptive Ski Program (WASP) has recently received a grant worth $11,300 from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada (RMHC) to go toward the purchase of adaptive ski equipment.

The grant will help WASP meet resource gaps that in the past have resulted in individuals being turned away because of insufficient equipment. In the 2002-03 season, WASP provided ski lessons to 140 individuals with disabilities, but had to turn 120 others away because of lack of resources.

The money from RMHC will be used to purchase new adapted sit-ski equipment designed specifically for younger and smaller members with significant disabilities. The new equipment should increase the number of clients WASP is able to serve.

WASP is part of the Disabled Skiers Association of B.C., whose mission is to make skiing more accessible to all, regardless of their ability.

"We are thrilled to be part of this program," commented Maija Zeibots, Executive Director of RMHC.

Tom Horler, owner/operator of the Whistler McDonald’s restaurant, was also enthusiastic about WASP’s grant.

"I hope they ask for more money," he exclaimed. "It was a no-brainer, they were just terrific. They were very professional and their grant was perfect. I’m glad that they took the initiative."

In the last 11 years RMHC has provided over $180,000 to Whistler and Pemberton children’s projects, including the Whistler Health Care Centre, the Rotary Learning Disabilities Association and the Whistler Public Library.

Horler added that he would love to hear from other groups or individuals looking for funding for projects falling under RMHC’s mandate, which is to help children with serious illnesses, disabilities or chronic conditions lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Horler can be contacted in his office at 604-932-1314.