US Congressman Chris Gibson to Address
26 Regional Wounded Warriors
Troy, NY – Twenty-six regional Wounded Warriors and their families begin arriving to the Capital District today for the 10th anniversary STRIDE Wounded Warrior Snowfest, for a weekend of healing through adaptive sports.
Arriving in Troy, they will spend time at a meet and greet dinner tonight at the Hilton Garden Inn, take a tour of the New York capitol Friday, and then join STRIDE’s team of instructors at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort learning how to ski and snowboard on Saturday and Sunday.
The Warriors primarily hail from New York, and from Warrior Transition units such as Fort Drum. This year marking the 10th year that STRIDE Adaptive Sports has hosted the event, special attention has been paid to inviting alumni Warriors from years past to play a part in the event as mentors and promoting the STRIDE mission that healing comes in giving service to others. Twelve Warriors are brand new to STRIDE, while they have fourteen alumni mentors to guide and encourage them on the slopes.
The event kicks off with a Welcome Ceremony dinner March 6 at 6pm at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn on Hoosick Street to honor the Warriors. The event is open to the public with cocktail reception and dinner. Opening ceremony begins with The Schenectady Pipe Band and LaSalle Institute Color Guard Cadets escorting the Warriors into the ballroom. Entertainment is provided by Union College a cappella singing group, the Eliphalets. Master of ceremonies are WNYT News Channel 13 anchors, Phil Bayly and Jessica Layton. Keynote address will be given by US Congressman Gibson, an Iraq veteran, also combat injured. A special tribute 10 year video will be presented, and special entertainment.
Saturday and Sunday the Warriors and their families hit the slopes at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, where STRIDE Adaptive instructors take over teaching each to snowboard or ski with special help from adaptive equipment where needed. Several Warriors who now use wheelchairs will learn to mono-ski in a seated skiing device. Some will learn with specialized balancing devices such as outriggers or slider. Regardless of the disability, each Warrior will conquer the mountain with the support of the STRIDE team.
Locally, the event is recognized and supported by many elected and military officials including the honorary committee for the event: US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, US Congressmen Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko, New York Army National Guard Major General Patrick Murphy; Assemblymen Steve McLaughlin, Phil Steck and John T. McDonald III; NY Senators George Amedore, Neil Breslin and Kathy Marchione; CS Major Frank Wicks; Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. Words of Welcome will be delivered by Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino and Jiminy Peak CEO, Tyler Fairbank.
This event is underwritten in part by Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Disabled Sports USA and Warfighter Sports; and Tenth Mountain Division Foundation. Reserved tickets for the Welcome Ceremony are $40 per person, or a reserved table of 10 for $400 and are available by calling 518-598-1279, or through the DONATE/PayPal button at www.stride.org For more information please contact the STRIDE office at 518-598-1279.
Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO & Founder
STRIDE Adaptive Sports
476 North Greenbush Road #9
Rensselaer, NY 12144
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