Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Year End Appreciations

At year's end I must express my deep appreciation to all the staff and volunteers who make adaptive recreation possible in Massachusetts State Parks. Without skilled outdoor leaders, knowledgeable disability service professionals, and hands-on help from volunteers, our year round programs would simply not be possible.

Peter Chase has volunteered in
Worcester for 2 years and
brings his son to programs.
We operate many of our programs by hiring adaptive recreation organizations to facilitate activities at selected parks that feature accessible locations. Countless volunteers join these organizations to share their skills and expertise and enjoy a fun service opportunity. Many volunteers return year after year. Some are students in physical or occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, nursing, outdoor leadership and other related or non-related fields. Others are parents or retirees or making time for community service even while employed. All are a huge support we could not do without!

Waves of gratitude to the following organizations and their staff and volunteers: All Out Adventures, Community Boating, Holyoke Rows, Stavros Outdoor Access, Waypoint Adventures and Windrush Farms. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to providing great quality inclusive recreation opportunities!

Heidi Marie-Peterson also
developed a games program.
With the end of our REC Connect grant, we lost our grant coordinator Heidi Marie-Peterson. Heidi worked with us for two years, helping us build our Adaptive Skating and Games on Ice programs in Boston, Worcester, and Revere. She recruited participants and coordinated volunteers in addition to gracing our office and programs with her friendly and easy-going personality, outdoor leadership perspective, equipment support and gentle sense of fun. Even after her position ended, Heidi continues to volunteer at the Holyoke skating program. Thanks Heidi for a job well done! We wish you well in your quest for a new one!

Steve Jewett has assisted on the ice in Revere for 3 years.
Some volunteers work with the Universal Access Program directly, helping us with the programs we run in-house. Three people who provided exceptional volunteer assistance with Adaptive Skating and Games on Ice are Steve Jewett, Peter Chase, and Steve Frieman. Thank you all for your sustained commitment to helping out!

Steve Freiman has helped us
 in Holyoke for 2 years.

We are all feeling the pinch with current challenges to our economy. DCR's Universal Access Program will continue to seek creative ways to keep our programs thriving and support adaptive recreation. Check out our Winter Calendar on the tab at the top of the page! We know it will take continued volunteer support to counteract reduced funding. With deep gratitude we thank those who have assisted us over time and welcome new volunteers to join the fun!
Training for outdoor winter recreation activities will take place on January 5 at Wendell State Forest and January 9 at the D.A.R. State Forest. Contact All Out Adventures at 413-527-8980 for January 5 and Stavros at 413-259-0009 to attend on January 9. Anyone interested in assisting with indoor ice skating can call 413-545-5758 for more information.

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