The Kelly Brush Foundation awarded $275,000 for adaptive sports gear and ski racing safety equipment grants and strategic partnerships, said Executive Director Zeke Davisson. This year’s annual grants marked a milestone for the foundation both in the number of awards and the amount awarded.
“We received more applications than ever before from adaptive athletes seeking to improve the quality of their lives and from organizations focused on making ski racing safer,” Davisson said. “As the Kelly Brush Foundation grows we are able to do more, and we are also seeing demand grow. This encourages and motivates us to do even more to meet our mission.”
The foundation awarded 95 Adaptive Sports Equipment Program grants totaling $175,572 for equipment including handcycles for on-road and off-road, sport chairs for basketball, tennis and rugby and monoskis and race chairs for skiing.
“I can’t put into words how much this is going to help in my path to reigniting my active and competitive lifestyle. I can’t wait to get started,” said Patrick Flautt of Norcross, GA, who received a grant for a handcycle.
A total of 15 ski racing clubs were awarded a total of $54,500 in Ski Racing Safety Grants to purchase safety netting to line training and racing courses. Recipients included the racing program at Mt. Abram in Maine.
“We are grateful to the Kelly Brush Foundation. This grant will help to enable us to net a full trail this winter so we can provide a safe race/training venue,” said Gregg Novick, director, Friends of Mt. Abram.
In addition to the grants for adaptive equipment and ski netting, the foundation allocated $45,000 for Adaptive Sports Partnerships. These funds will support a new initiative called Path 2 Active that creates partnerships with adaptive sports programs and outpatient rehabilitation hospitals to make the path to returning to an active lifestyle as easy and personalized as possible.
The foundation’s fundraising is supported by the foundation’s signature event, the Kelly Brush Ride powered by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations. In September, the 11th annual ride drew more than 700 cyclists and 30 handcyclists and raised more than $425,000. With the ride as its signature fundraising event, the Kelly Brush Foundation has raised more than $3 million, helped purchase nearly 400 pieces of adaptive sports equipment and helped keep thousands of ski racers safe with hundreds of miles of safety netting, trail widening projects and awareness about ski racing safety.
Next year’s ride is set for September 9, 2017 in Middlebury, VT.