Kelly Brush Foundation Awards Grants for Adaptive Sports Equipment

Chris Jefferson, adaptive athlete from Aspen, Colo., competes at Copper Mountain, Colo., in December. Jefferson, who is training with the Paralympic Development Program in Aspen, received a Kelly Brush Individual Grant for adaptive ski equipment from the Kelly Brush Foundation.

The Kelly Brush Foundation awarded approximately $47,000 in grants for adaptive sporting equipment as part of the foundation’s year-end round of grant giving.

The foundation awarded 13 Kelly Brush Individual Grant Program grants to individuals from across the United States. The financial assistance assists with purchasing adaptive equipment including monoskis and handcycles.

“Enriching the lives of those with spinal cord injury through adaptive sports and recreation is a key goal of the Kelly Brush Foundation. Specialized adaptive equipment, often customized for the individual athlete, can be cost prohibitive. Through Kelly Brush Individual Grants, the foundation aims to remove financial barriers to participation in adaptive sports,” Kelly Brush Foundation President Charlie Brush said.

Through the grant program, the organization hopes to increase participation in adaptive sports and recreation activities and improve the quality of life for individuals living with SCI.

Chris Jefferson, a U.S. Army veteran and former 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper, was awarded a grant for adaptive ski equipment. Jefferson hopes to make the U.S. Paralympic team.

“This equipment will make a big difference in my skiing, which in turn will make me better and more competitive as I train for the chance to serve my country again in the 2014 Paralympics in Russia,” said Jefferson, who is training with the Paralympic Development Program in Aspen, Colo.

The foundation also announced $53,442 in Ski Racing Safety Grants to ski clubs and race teams across the country. Ski Racing Safety Grants assist racing organizations in purchasing equipment that enhances safety for racers, including safety netting to line race courses, padding for chair lift towers and spine protectors for racers. Fifteen clubs and organizations received Ski Racing Safety Grants ranging from $500 to Monroe County Special Olympics, in Michigan to replace old and unsafe helmets to $12,500 to the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Central Region, based in Minnesota, for safety netting to bring the entire region up to full netting on all courses.

The Kelly Brush Foundation annual grants are made possible by the foundation’s primary fund-raising event, the Kelly Brush Century Ride, which is held annually in September in Middlebury, Vt., and hosted by the Middlebury College Ski Team.