Windham's Adaptive Sports Foundation is in line for a $1.2 million state economic development award, State Senator James L. Seward announced today. Seward unveiled the funding at a press conference in Windham at the foundation.
The funding will assist the foundation's capital campaign toward financing of the $3.8 million, handicapped accessible Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center and chair lift that connects the center to the Windham Mountain Ski Resort.
"The sports center is a tremendous asset to the area and to those with disabilities," Senator Seward said today. "It is one of the largest adaptive sports programs on the East Coast, and provides great economic benefit to Windham and Greene County. When the foundation's officers approached me about the possibility of state funding, I immediately realized the value of the program for those with disabilities and how it could continue to be a positive force here locally."
"The Adaptive Sports Foundation is grateful to receive funding from New York State for our capital campaign. Senator Seward has been instrumental in helping us to provide services to people with disabilities. The Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center is not only a great place for people with disabilities to experience all kinds of sports but is also a model for other adaptive sport programs," said Cherisse Young, executive director.
Founded in 1983, the Adaptive Sports Foundation provides services to children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. The foundation provides four season sports instruction and recreational activities that enhance the participants' self esteem and independence. The Gwen Allard Center, which will cooperate with Windham Mountain in the use of facilities, is designed as a meeting place and social venue for students, volunteers and family members.
The state grant will be applied directly to construction costs. It will be administered by Empire State Development Corporation, the state's economic development office.