Jasmin Bambur and John Supon received grant funding to continue on their Paralympic dreams
The High Fives Foundation’s Winter Empowerment program service disburses board-approved grants to disabled athletes participating in winter adaptive sports. In September, the Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved grants for Winter Empowerment Athletes Jasmin Bambur of Granby and John Supon of Denver.
Bambur will receive a grant in the amount of $2,523. Supon will receive a grant in the amount of $930.
Bambur’s September 2014 grant for $2,523 will be used toward the purchase of new race skis from Volkl.
Bambur was driving home from work in January 2000, when he was involved in a car accident that ejected him from the driver’s seat of his vehicle. The impact fractured Bambur’s arm, punctured a lung and burst fractured his T-9 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Bambur spent the next eight months at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga. recovering from the accident.
Bambur has not let his disability slow him down. After he finished college in 2004, Bambur went on to pursue a career as an adaptive ski racer. Bambur is a current member of the United States Adaptive Alpine Team, and has been to the last two Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada in 2010 and Sochi, Russia in 2014. The September grant for $2,523 awarded to Bambur will be used for Volkl racing skis. This will allow him to focus on his career and not have to worry about associated costs that come with professional ski racing.
Supon’s September 2014 grant for $930 will be used toward the purchase of a new helmet, goggle and spine protector from POC.
In May 2006, Supon was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. When the paramedics arrived on the scene, Supon needed resuscitation and he was immediately flown to Barrow Neurologic Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. Supon had suffered massive internal injuries including a traumatic brain injury, a pair of collapsed lungs and a spinal dislocation at the T-7 level. Supon spent the next 3 months in rehabilitation at the Phoenix hospital.
Not long after his injury, Supon discovered the mountains and the sport of adaptive skiing. Along with the thrill of competition, skiing has provided Supon with a sense of freedom from his wheelchair. In 2012, the High Fives Foundation awarded Supon a board-approved grant for $3,970 for Volkl race skis and Marker bindings. The 2014 grant for $930 to be used toward a helmet, goggle and spine protector from POC brings the grant total to $4,900 in the three years that Supon has been an athlete of the High Fives Foundation.
Since the organization’s January 2009 inception, the Winter Empowerment program service has assisted 65 athletes from 19 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 2014, the High Fives Foundation has set a budget of disbursing $196,000 via board-approved grants through the Winter Empowerment Fund. Thus far in 2014, 26 High Fives Athletes and two organizations have been awarded a sum of 30 board-approved grants for a total of $210,000.
In the month of September the High Fives Foundation distributed funds to ten Winter Empowerment Athletes: Jasmin Bambur of Granby, Colo., John Supon of Denver, Colo., Luke Eckenberg of Temperance, Mich., Ezra McPhail of Duluth, Minn., Landon McGauley of Quesnel, BC, Josh Dueck of Vernon, BC, Danielle Watson of Bend, Ore., Lyndsay Slocumb of Reno, Nev., Marcus Reddish of Stevenville, Mont. and Andrew Kurka of Palmer, Alaska. The Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved a total of $32,881.77 to be used toward the Healing Network, Programs, Travel, Winter Equipment and Adaptive Equipment funding categories.