DREAM Adaptive Awarded Grant to Expand Program for Disabled Vets

$50,000 grant will help expand the winter alpine program for veterans from across the state

By Beacon Staff
A member participates with DREAM Adaptive at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Beacon File Photo

DREAM Adaptive Recreation, a local nonprofit that focuses on helping disabled members of the community participate in outdoor recreation, has received a $50,000 grant to help disabled veterans.

The organization announced Wednesday that the grant will help expand the winter alpine program at Whitefish Mountain Resort for veterans from across the state. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

DREAM Adaptive Recreation has been in Flathead Valley for 31 years with three programs: the winter alpine program at Whitefish Mountain Resort; a water sports program at Echo Lake in Bigfork; and a stand-up paddleboard program on Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake.

This year the organization began to offer outdoor recreation opportunities to disabled veterans. Through the winter alpine program and the water sports program, DREAM was able to offer specific days that were set aside for veterans and their family members. With the help of Larry Cannon, outreach technician for the Kalispell Vet Center, DREAM provided veterans from northwest Montana skiing, sit skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, tubing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding activities.

Last April, Cheri DuBeau Carlson, executive director of DREAM, began applying for a grant to help DREAM fund additional opportunities for the disabled veterans statewide. Cannon was instrumental in helping DREAM organize events to serve local veterans.

“The Kalispell Vet Center would like to congratulate DREAM Adaptive Recreation for being named as a 2016 VA Adaptive Sports Grant Awardee,” Cannon stated. “We look forward to partnering with them and as they expand the recreational opportunities for Montana Veterans and Service Members.”

Through this grant, DREAM will provide additional adaptive lessons and assist participants with travel costs, lodging and meals this winter. The local nonprofit will also purchase more adaptive equipment including sit skis and outriggers. Additionally, the grant be able to provide more training to their volunteers so DREAM can provide the best possible experience to veterans, the organization stated.

To be involved with this program as a volunteer or participant, contact DREAM Adaptive Recreation at 406-862-1817 or email [email protected].