AWeSOMe!

Adaptive Wilderness Sports Of McCall (AWeSOMe!)

Adaptive Wilderness Sports of McCall (AWeSOMe!), began as the vision of physical therapist, Ingrid Burica, and occupational therapist, Kirsten Evenson, in January, 2002 after receiving some used adaptive ski equipment as a donation from Recreation Unlimited of Boise at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. The program was run at the Little Ski Hill during the first four years, in conjunction with the After-School Ski Program, allowing students with disabilities to ski along side their non-disabled peers. AWeSOMe! was then under the umbrella of the Little Ski Hill's non-profit status. In the second year, Mary Naylor, then Brundage Mountain Resort's Director of Marketing, offered to write a grant, which was procured from the University of Idaho’s Assistive Technology Department to purchase some new adaptive ski equipment. The program then moved to Brundage Mountain Resort to take advantage of the beginner chairlift and more diverse terrain. Moving the program to Brundage provided the opportunity to include adults with disabilities. AWeSOMe! now receives generous support from Brundage Mountain through provision of in-kind lift tickets for students and instructors. As the program grew, Brundage increased their support by donating the use of an A-frame hut, at the top of the Easy Street beginner area, for AWeSOMe!’s base of operations. In addition, Brundage provides ski rentals for AWeSOMe! students requiring stand-up ski equipment. The relationship with the Brundage Ski School has grown to include some shared instructor training.

Chris Wernert became program director in the 2004-2005 ski season. Chris initiated snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Ponderosa State Park and added summer activities, including canoeing, adaptive bicycling, tree-climbing workshops, and also day & overnight activity camps.

In 2009, AWeSOMe! applied and became a member of Disabled Sports USA. As a Subordinate Unit, AWeSOMe! is recognized as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under DS/USA's IRS 501 (c) (3) Group Tax Exempt status. Liability insurance is purchased through this program.

Funding is received through grants, donations, modest activity registration fees, and fundraising events.