Burlington native, Max Elles, to receive Winter Empowerment Grant from  High Fives Foundation

Elles to receive nearly $4,000 to aid in his recovery from a life-altering injury

Burlington native, Max Elles, suffered a burst fracture to his L1 vertebrae, causing partial paralysis in his lower extremities as the result of a snowboarding accident in December 2012.  The August Winter Empowerment Fund from the Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation for $3,951 marks the fifth board-approved grant that Elles has received since becoming a High Fives Athlete in February 2013. To date Elles has received $12,051 in grant funding from High Fives.

The August, 2014, grant will allow Elles to continue his recovery by utilizing non-traditional therapies in the Burlington area. Therapies covered include: Body Resolution providing 12 sessions of personal training, Optimum Health Vermont providing 12 sessions of Acupuncture and Bridget Kimsey providing 10 sessions of massage, yoga and Reiki.

Elles hurt himself snowboarding at Killington, his home mountain in Vermont, when he hit a hidden water bar causing him to fall directly on his back. Surrounded by ski patrol, Max was on the ground in pain waiting for a helicopter to arrive. He knew that this was not an ordinary crash. Max was flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. where doctors told him that he had burst fractured his L1 vertebrae, causing partial paralysis in his lower extremities.

Max Elles | Photo Courtesy | Max Elles

Elles has been under the wing on the High Fives Foundation immediately following his 2012 injury. With the Foundation’s assistance, Max has poured all of his efforts into his recovery. Along with daily physical therapy and training, Max has made amazing recovery gains through Vermont service providers in Acupuncture, massage, structural integration, yoga and Reiki. With the encouraging results that Max has experienced over the last two years, Max has set the goal of competing in the Winter X-Games for Boardercross.

“As a professional snowboarder prior to his injury, Max has the drive and work ethic to achieve his lofty goal, and the High Fives Foundation plans to be there every step of the way,” said High Fives Foundation Co-Founder, Roy Tuscany.  “ I am pleased High Fives and its Board are also working hard to help Max accomplish his goal of returning to snowboarding at a professional level.”

Max Elles | Photo Courtesy  | Justin Cash
Max Elles | Photo Courtesy | Justin Cash

The High Fives Foundation – Winter Empowerment program service disburses board-approved grants to winter action sports athletes who are recovering from a life-altering injury.

Since the Foundation’s inception in January, 2009, the Winter Empowerment program service has assisted 61 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 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, 16 High Fives Athletes and two organizations have been awarded a sum of 20 board-approved grants for a total of $168,000.

In the month of August the High Fives Foundation also disbursed funds to, Jack Trottier of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Jeff Andrews of Truckee, Calif. The Foundation’s Board of Directors Grant Selection Committee approved a total of $18,201 to be used towards these athletes Winter Empowerment Grants.

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