Special Needs Fifth Graders Have Skiing Dream Come True

Disability didn’t stop two fifth graders at Westside Elementary.

They hit the slopes with the rest of their classmates, with the help of some state of the art ski gear.
For special need students, limited mobility usually causes them to miss out on certain school activities, but one organization helped changed that.

Thanks to Hope Inc. and two of their trained volunteers, Haley and Skyler who are both bound to wheelchairs, got to ski alongside their peers.

Using adaptive ski equipment provided by the organization, the fifth graders were able to participate in the annual trip.

Hope Inc. volunteers say taking the time to help is worth every minute.
“I love hearing their favorite part about skiing; going fast or maybe it’s riding up the chair lift,” says Hope Inc. volunteer Craig Dummer. “Just being involved with their families, getting to meet their parents, that’s fun I think.”
Haley shared her favorite part.
She says, “I like going up on the chair lift.”
Skyler’s parents Nathan and Liza Gion says the experience has given her the chance to see that mobility doesn’t have to limit her potential.
Liza Gion says, “When you have a child with special needs you want to give them as much opportunity as you can, and let them experience as much because you’ll never know if they’ll like it or not.”
Skyler’s parents say the best part of the experience is being able to see her face as she comes down the mountain.
“Her eyes are big when she’s coming down and she has a good time,” says her father, Nathan Gion. “I think it’s good for the other kids to see that she and her other friends are able to do the same things. It’s a good thing for everybody I think.”
Hope Inc.’s Adaptive Ski Program has been helping children with disability hit the slopes for almost seven years.

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