Reno athlete David Hewel to receive $1,750 grant from Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation to provide Hewel with grant funding for personal training, massage, and acupuncture

#HighFivesAthlete David Hewel working with personal trainer Chris Cloyd in the CR Johnson Healing Center

The High Fives Foundation Empowerment program service disburses board-approved grants to mountain action sports athletes who are recovering from a life-altering injury. In July, the Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved a grant for Reno-based Empowerment Athlete David Hewel totaling $1,750.

The July 2015 grant for $1,750 awarded to 33-year-old Hewel will be used toward personal training, massage, and acupuncture. All treatments will take place at the CR Johnson Healing Center in Truckee, Calif. The CR Johnson Healing Center is a 2,400 sq/ft facility houses the offices of a massage therapy, active release techniques, acupuncture/chiropractic/eastern medicines, Pilates, personal training, physical therapy, restorative stretching and more.

“My recovery goal is to walk again and continue following my passions in snow sports, air sports and music,” said Hewel. “I have been continuously working hard with therapies and training to become stronger and more mobile than I was before my injury,”

The CR Johnson Healing Center is currently on pace to attract over 3,800 appointments this year. Of those, approximately 54% are with clients who have spinal cord injuries, like David Hewel.This is the second grant that Hewel has received from the High Fives Foundation.

“David works out in the Healing Center weekly and is making TREMENDOUS strides toward his ultimate goal of walking,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “His hard work makes him a leader by example for other athletes to witness.”

About David Hewel
Reno native, David Hewel was involved in a speed flying accident at Heavely Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. in June 2014. Toward the end of his flight, Hewel was surprised by a strong gust of wind that sent him and his parachute into the air causing him to crash-land on his back. Hewel was immediately rushed to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nev. where he was told that he had suffered a burst-fracture of his T-12 vertebrae. This is when Hewel reached out to the High Fives Foundation. Hewel was discharged from in-patient care at Renown Medical Center and immediately went into recovery mode.

Since the organization’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 89 athletes from 20 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 2015, the High Fives Foundation set a budget of disbursing $266,000 via board-approved grants through the Empowerment Fund. Since January, the Foundation has disbursed $203,626 to 29 athletes and two organizations.

In the month of July, the High Fives Foundation disbursed $17,509.88 in Empowerment Grants to the following High Fives Athletes:

David Hewel from Reno, NV.
Tim Burr from Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Michele Edwards from Roseville, Calif.
Jordan Griffin from Lakewood, WA.
Matt Leonard from San Francisco, Calif.
Frank Lin from Anaheim, Calif.
Shawn Maloney from Oakland, Calif.


About the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation: High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization The High Fives Foundation supports the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder from his own recovery to help injured athletes, the Foundation has helped 89 athletes to date since its inception in 2009, more information visit

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