The High Fives Foundation Winter Empowerment program service disburses board-approved grants to disabled winter action sports athletes participating in winter adaptive sports or athletes recovering from a life-altering injury. In December, the Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved the following grants for three athletes totaling $6,422.00. One of these athletes has previously been awarded grants through the Winter Empowerment Fund while two new athletes are welcomed into the High Fives Foundation Family.
To date, the Winter Empowerment Fund has assisted 54 athletes from 18 states in nine respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and stoke (positive energy, outlook and attitude). In 2013 the High Fives Foundation set a budget of disbursing $180,000.00 via board-approved grants through the Winter Empowerment Fund. With these three grants the High Fives Foundation has surpassed the goal of $180,000.00 disbursed this year, by awarding $191,000.00 in athlete grants. In 2013 alone, a total of 34 High Fives Athletes were awarded 40 grants.
The following athletes were awarded grants via the Winter Empowerment Fund in December 2013:
BRANDON PITZER | PORTLAND, OR
Brandon spent a lot of his time in the Mt. Hood area chasing a professional ski dream. In May 2013 Brandon’s dream came to a halt when Brandon under rotated a double backflip while skiing Timberline, resulting in compression fractures of his T11 and T12 vertebrae. Initially Brandon had feeling and motor function and it wasn’t until after surgery to repair his spine that Brandon became paralyzed. Today Brandon continues to work tirelessly on his recovery, and plans to get back out on the hill soon.
December Winter Empowerment Grant for Brandon Pitzer: $2,142.00 (Healing Network – 18 personal training sessions with Whole Body Fitness $990.00, and 12 Acupuncture treatments with Gateway Sports Medicine $1,520.00: $1,945.00)
TODD WOLFE | TRUCKEE, CA
Todd started teaching skiing and coaching racing in 1986, which are his true passions. On March 5, 2005, Todd was racing motocross, and in one turn his whole life changed. Instantly he became a C5/C6 quadriplegic. If it weren’t for the help of the High Fives Foundation, Bill Bowness, and the rest of the gang at Disabled Sports USA – Far West, it wouldn’t have been possible from him to return to the mountains. The best powder turns of his whole life were the five he made on April 7, 2011 on Subway (Alpine Meadows), while skiing next to his wife April. Todd says, “I am happy to be a quad, it allowed me to meet my wife!”
In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the High Fives Foundation awarded Todd grants through the Winter Empowerment Fund for lessons at Disabled Sports USA – Far West, a Disabled Sports USA – Far West Membership, a Smith Optics goggle and helmet, Super-Lite Outriggers, Super-Lite Gloves, and equipment rentals.
December Winter Empowerment Grant for Todd Wolfe: $880.00 (Adaptive Exercise Therapy – 40 private lessons at Disabled Sports USA – Far West and a Membership to Disabled Sports USA – Far West: $880.00).
KENDEL ELLIOTT | KEWASKUM, WISCONSIN
Since 2010, Kendel has suffered a pair of injuries that have affected her greatly, causing unpredictable convulsions. In 2010 Kendel broke her pelvis, and in February of 2013, Kendel suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since suffering her injuries, Kendel and her family have had trouble finding effective treatments. In December 2013 High Fives awarded Kendel a grant for Chiropractic and Acupuncture treatments with Dr. Lily Kuehne of the Lake Tahoe Wellness Center, and she has seen tremendous results towards her recovery.
December Winter Empowerment Grant for Kendall Elliot: $3,400.00 (Healing Network – 40 Chiropractic treatments and 40 Acupuncture treatments with Lake Tahoe Wellness Center: $3,400.00).