Disability 101: Worthy of your tax-deductible donation
December 20, 2009
In my previous columns, I’ve written about the importance of adaptive sports in my life. There are so many people with disabilities who have found adaptive sports to be their lifeline and salvation.
People who were athletes and then experience an accident, injury or disease that results in disability think their life is over. Then they discover adaptive sports and realize that they are still athletes and that there is much in life that will still bring joy. Children who were born with disabilities are given the opportunity to participate in adaptive athletics and discover their abilities and gain confidence.
Now that we are reaching the end of our tax year, you may be looking for a good nonprofit organization to make a charitable contribution so that you can take advantage of the corresponding tax deductions. I encourage you to consider donating to an adaptive sports organization so that more adults and children with disabilities are given the opportunity to find their skills, confidence and joy.
Right here in Summit County, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) provides outdoor adventure opportunities for people with disabilities. Their adaptive ski program is nationally respected.
They are the best. At their sites at Breckenridge and Keystone, they offer monoskiing and bi-skiing (types of sit-skiing), three-tracking and four-tracking (for those who can ski on one or two legs but need additional support with outriggers – ski poles with small skis on the bottom), adaptive snowboarding, and snow riding for those who are blind or have visual impairments.
BOEC provides all necessary adaptive equipment, a lift ticket, instructors and additional support persons.
However, a day of skiing with BOEC doesn’t come cheap. At this level of support, expenses are significant. A full day lesson with BOEC costs between $150 and $200. Fortunately, BOEC offers a scholarship program for qualified adaptive skiers based on financial need.
These scholarships are funded entirely by donations. I encourage you to help out and make a difference in the life of a person with a disability by making a tax deductible donation to BOEC. Please see their website at http://www.boec.org or call them at (970) 453-6422.
What about those adaptive athletes that want to go further than a lesson?
Perhaps they want to remain an amateur but they want more independent, consistent athletic opportunities.
Or perhaps they would like to be at the competitive level and participate in handcycle or ski races or participate on a competitive wheelchair basketball or rugby team or join a sled hockey team.
Adaptive equipment is more expensive than standard athletic equipment because the market is smaller.
A monoski and associated equipment can easily cost $4,000. The average handcycle is $3,000. A sports chair for wheelchair basketball or a chair for wheelchair rugby (no, you can’t use a standard wheelchair) costs around $2,500. How can an athlete with a disability afford their equipment?
The Molly Bloom Foundation, based in Denver, provides grants to athletes with disabilities to purchase equipment for adaptive sports. This foundation was created in honor of Molly Bloom, an amputee and an adaptive athlete. Their mission is to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities “so that they may enjoy renewed self-confidence, independence, or recovery through physical activities and sports”.
The Molly Bloom Foundation has previously given athletes grants for purchasing handcycles, adaptive mountain bikes, and sports wheelchairs for basketball, and they have paid the costs of participating in adaptive sports.
Please make a tax deductible donation to the Molly Bloom Foundation and turn the life around of a person with a disability.
See their website at http://www.mollybloomfoundation.org or call them at (303) 927-9089.