(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

SNOWMASS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Paralympic ski club based in Colorado now needs to rely on donations to stay afloat.

The Aspen Valley Ski Club Adaptive Program has amassed 16 world championship medals and another nine from the Paralympics.

“What we’ve created here is the atmosphere, the environment, the facility to host top-level elite athletes,” said the instructor.

This year a grant from the federal government that is distributed through the United States Olympic Committee to nearly 100 clubs like the AVSC hasn’t come in. Most years the AVSC gets half a million dollars for the adaptive program. As of now donations only will carry the program through mid-December.

“The community has been huge to help support our program and come up with sufficient funding to operate through this point,” said the instructor.

Cpl. Aaron Howell is a relatively new to the program. He’d never skied before an explosion in 2010.

“Met the coaches out here, fell in love with the sport and now I’m pursuing it full time,” said Howell, “I think it’s the best therapy possible for the mind and the body. I’m physical, being competitive and enjoying the mountains of Aspen.”

The hope is a long-term funding source will come through. But for now the adaptive program is solely based on donations.

LINK: Fundraising Site |www.crowdrise.com/aspenvalleyskisnowbo

LINK: AVSC Website |www.teamavsc.org


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