BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Claryville, NY, June 24, 2011: At the Frost Valley Adventure TEAM Challenge, it is not clear whose lives were more changed – the young athletes who increased confidence in themselves through experiencing the thrill of outdoor competition, or the coaches, parents and spectators who were inspired by the athletes.
“When you have the opportunity to spend two or three days with the exceptional athlete in a World T.E.A.M. event, you look beyond the wheelchair, beyond their physical and emotional challenges, and see the human being looking right back at you,” said the Challenge organizer Lon Dolber, the CEO and President of American Portfolios Holdings. “You recognize all that is possible within yourself.”
Held at the Frost Valley YMCA at Claryville, New York the weekend of June 16-19, the Challenge included five teams of 21 disabled athletes age 14 to 28. Each of these athletes had the opportunity to participate in water sports, orienteering, bicycling and mountain climbing competitions during the course of the weekend. Athletes were paired with athlete coaches and volunteers, who provided critical assistance and attention, allowing for a safe and successful event.
For many of the participants, big smiles told the story. Participating in boating events on Lake Cole, climbing to the summit of lofty Slide Mountain and experiencing the freedom of bicycling allowed the athletes to live life to its fullest and enjoy the outdoors.
“The athletes from the center were the most amazing and inspirational people I have had the opportunity to participate with in any event,” said Timra Stump, who served as one of the coaches. “These exceptional athletes had more fun than you could ever imagine.”
Sponsored by American Portfolios Holdings with support from The Center for Discovery and World T.E.A.M. Sports, the Challenge was based in part on World T.E.A.M.’s annual Adventure TEAM Challenge in Colorado. The difference from the Colorado event is that all the participating athletes had disabilities, rather than a mix of disabled and non-disabled athletes.
With upcoming events planned for future years, one of the parents whose child participated was impressed with the Challenge and the sponsoring partners. “Thank you so much for what you do-you’re helping to speed the day when the notion of ‘disabled people’ will seem absurd.”
American Portfolios Holdings Honored
During the Challenge, World T.E.A.M. Sports honored American Portfolios Holdings with an award for their exceptional support of the annual Face of America ride from Washington to Gettysburg each April. Timra Stump presented the award to Lon Dolber on behalf of the organization.