Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fun Day in the Park!

Fantastic weather and a perfect Adaptive Recreation Fair took place in Boston last weekend! Alongside the Charles River, people with all kinds of disabilities came to enjoy the beautiful day and try out cycling, kite flying and other activities at DCR's annual event.

Many wonderful volunteers and organizations helped make the day a huge success. As I visited each booth, I was amazed by the presence of many dedicated souls and marvelous endeavors than are improving the quality of life for everyone.

The Oak Square YMCA, located in Brighton, has an new adaptive fitness room. Maura Krueger, their health and wellness coordinator, showed me terrific photos of adaptive fitness equipment in use. I love that more gyms are coming on line with inclusive workout systems. Working out is a great way to build strength and endurance for outdoor pursuits! Find out more from Maura at

SMILE Mass is an organization new to us this year, the passionate mission of two women to improve vacation opportunities for families with disabilities. Their first project is to bring 100 beach wheelchairs to Cape Cod beaches by the end of 2012 . These aren't just any beach wheelchairs, but Mobi-Chairs, which are essentially rolling lounge chairs that float on the water. I had my first chance to actually sit in one and was impressed by their sturdiness and comfortable design! SMILE Mass has many more ambitious community-based projects planned. You can support their efforts through the purchase of ongoing raffle tickets. They offer great prizes! I'm right on board with this week's hot air balloon ride for two!

The Northeast Chapter of AMBUCS also set up a booth, with several AmTrykes for children on display. We recently purchased two Amtrykes, the 1516 ProSeries trike, which offers independent and/or supported steering and a range of seating adjustments that allow not just a wide range of users, but the potential for a child to grow up and still use the same bike. How cool is that? The first rider on our new AmTryke at this event demonstrated another vital aspect of this versatile and durable bike design - bring along your oxygen tank and ride! These bikes are a great personal investment - the Northeast Chapter offers 10% off AmTrykes and their therapists will help fit you to the right bike. You can reach them at

New England Disabled Sports brought a wide selection of adaptive recreation gear, including the Action TrackChair, a motorized wheelchair with snowmobile treads that looks like the pinnacle of all-terrain mobility devices. Geoff Krill answered for me what I'm sure is everyone's number one question - it costs $9300 - seems like a lot of money, but for those in the market, it is much more affordable than other models which run upwards of $25,000. New England Disabled Sports is based in New Hampshire and affiliated with Disabled Sports USA, the U.S. Paralympics team, Loon Mountain Ski Resort, and the Wounded Warriors Project.

A light intermittent breeze off the water allowed kids of all ages to test small kites after decorating them under a tent. We love seeing the smiles this new activity brings as people enjoy both parts of the kite experience. Along with taking home these free kites, we hope those who attended the adaptive recreation fair will also carry with them a sense of fun and motivation to pursue more summer recreation opportunities this year!

A long list of credits must follow for such an event. Thanks to All Out Adventures for facilitating adaptive cycling and doing a fantastic job as usual! Thanks to Waypoint Adventure, Community Boating, Northeast Passage and Spaulding Adaptive Sports Center for providing recreation opportunities for all! Thanks to Stavros Outdoor Access for taking people on short hikes and letterboxing. We are grateful to the many staff of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation who helped with various tasks to make the day go so smoothly! Also to the Empowerment Christian Church for providing a crew of people to monitor event safety! Thanks to Work, Inc. for dedicating two nurses to cover first aid. I am most appreciative of my colleagues and co-workers in the Universal Access Program for all your hard work! Thanks to the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, EMARC, Franciscan Hospital for Children, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, and Boys and Girls Club of Boston for all you do and providing a booth at our event! Heartfelt thanks to all who gave your time and energy in support of a great day!

1 comment:

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