January 14, 2014, marked the High Fives Foundation’s fifth anniversary of becoming a 501.c.3 nonprofit organization. Since its inception in January 2009 the Foundation has raised more than $1 million dollars to help 54 traumatically injured winter action sports athletes’ work toward their recovery.
“The encouragement and financial support I received from the Foundation was a miracle,” said Giray Dadali, a High Fives Foundation Winter Empowerment Fund grant recipient. “In March, 2013 I split my sacrum in half, ripped apart my pubic symphysis and fractured my lower vertebrae in a skiing competition. The support I received allowed me to work with the best team of surgeons, doctors and physical therapists in the industry.”
Dadali added, “With the Foundation’s support I set the goal to simply walk normally again. After one month of hard work I was walking normally, but experienced a lot of pain. Six months later I managed to hit the water ramp at the Utah Olympic Park. Eight months later I had rods removed from my pelvis, which I was told, would never be removed because of my injury and today…I am walking normally, pain-free doing the activities I love. All of this was made possible by the grant support and positive encouragement I received from the Foundation.”
High Fives offers three critical program services to its athletes and the community it serves.
The Winter Empowerment Fund provides financial support for alternative healing therapies, rehabilitative and adaptive equipment to traumatically injured winter action sports athletes.
B.A.S.I.C.S. (Being Aware Safe In Critical Situations) is designed to promote safety and awareness among young up-and-coming winter action sports athletes through world-class coaching. An additional component of B.A.S.I.C.S. includes producing high-quality educational safety videos promoting critical thinking among winter sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
The CR Johnson Healing Center provides resources to athletes in recovery from sport related injuries. The Center is home to a variety of services that include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, personal training, Pilates and more.
“When we created the Foundation after my own traumatic spinal cord injury I saw the potential for High Fives to serve as a positive life-changing safety net for the winter action sports community,” Executive Director and High Fives Co-founder Roy Tuscany said. “The support we’ve received over the past five years has been remarkable. The power of positivity reigns over everything the Foundation does and stands for. It is who we are. I get stoked thinking about the future of the Foundation and how we may be of service to our friends in need. Paying it forward is what we do.”
The Foundation surrounds its athletes with positivity. It is the key ingredient in the Foundation’s early success.
“It is supernatural that I am walking unassisted,” said Cody Walker, a High Fives Foundation Winter Empowerment Fund grant recipient. “It’s almost unapparent that I am a quadriplegic. Reaching my goals, through the Foundation’s support, truly has made me believe in miracles, God and the goodness of people. High Fives has been there for my family and me in one of the most difficult times of our lives. They’ve helped restore my hope and vision to fully recover and get back on my snowboard. My injury will not stop me from doing what I love. The Foundation has helped me embrace this positive perspective as I work to recover.”
The Foundation has the ability to offer life-changing support and services to injured winter action sports athletes in need by organizing a variety of fun, laidback and non-traditional fundraising events. To attend an event, donate to the Foundation or volunteer your time and/or services please visithttps://highfivesfoundation.
“High Fives is a one-of-a-kind organization,” said Galen Gifford, foundation chairman of the board. “The Foundation is truly about human connection, contact and communications. Just like a high five. I encourage everyone who enjoys having fun in or on the snow to pay attention to High Fives, and more importantly get involved.”