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STRIDE Adaptive Sports Honors Wounded War Heroes at 14th Annual Snowfest



Twenty regional Wounded Warriors who have returned from deployment with permanent injuries will be honored along with their families by  STRIDE Adaptive Sports and local elected officials on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at the 14th Annual STRIDE Wounded Warrior Snowfest Welcome Dinner from 7:00 pm – 9:15 pm at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn. The majority of the veterans are from New York State with several traveling from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

The event and Warriors will be recognized and supported with proclamations by many elected officials including  Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblymember John McDonald, Senator Neil Breslin, Congressman Paul Tonko, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin,  and many more. Keynote address will be delivered by BG Mike Natali, Local organizations attending and participating in the dinner ceremony include the Patriot Guard, LaSalle Color Guard, Schenectady Pipe Band, Young Marines, College of St. Rose Veterans, and. Music will be provided by Chris Weisnewski and Dave Graham  and STRIDE athlete Chance Thiebault, who  will sing the National Anthem.

Tickets to the Welcome Ceremony Dinner on Friday, March 2nd at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn are $40 per person, or a reserved table of 10 for $500. Tickets are available at www.stride.org.

The Welcome Dinner is part of a four day weekend where the injured veterans will be honored by the Capital Region community and receive skiing and snowboarding lessons at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.  Special adaptive equipment will be used to accommodate the veteran’s injuries under the supervision of trained STRIDE adaptive instructors. The veterans will receive a two-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, and one night stay at Jiminy Peak luxury suites, the recognition dinner, clothing, entertainment, gifts, food, transportation, and lessons for free as a thank you for their service.

“This event is considered a ‘gateway’ to  adaptive sports and active lifestyle when entering back into civilian life”, said Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO for STRIDE.  “Our message to these veterans is to ‘get back out there”, and afterwards we offer opportunities to stay involved in community by volunteering and mentoring others. Healing comes from giving, so we encourage them to continue at STRDE by helping others. “  

The experience is meant to connect new wounded veterans with a local support network of injured veterans who have previously participated in STRIDE programs. There is also the opportunity for the honored veterans to join other year-round programs with STRIDE, including 18 adaptive sport and recreation programs.

The $40,000 cost for the weekend has been generously provided by STRIDE event sponsors – Disabled Sports USA / Warfighter Sports, Jiminy Peak, 10th Mountain Division Foundation, AllSquare Wealth Management, LLC, New York State Capital District Chapter of MOAA,  and many regional VFW and American Legion chapters.

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