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Mary Ellen was a true skier. Her leadership and generous spirit will be missed by everyone who witnessed her tireless work as the Executive Director of the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program for almost two decades.
About the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP):
LASP offers ski lessons to persons with virtually all disabilities, both physical and cognitive. The operative word in this program is ‘adaptive’. If someone wants to ski, the dedicated and enthusiastic Lounsbury volunteers will do everything they can to find a way to get them out on the slopes. The focus is always on what a student can do, not on what they can’t. Examples of some of our more frequently encountered disabilities are spinal cord injuries, Down's Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment, Autism and Developmental Delay.
In 1988, there were 4 instructors and 14 students. That year 32 lessons were taught. Thirty-two years later the program has grown to 40 instructors who collectively teach over 250 lessons during the course of a single ski season. All instructors are specially trained in adaptive ski teaching methods and 70% of these instructors are certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).
Bill Lounsbury was a member of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol who lost a leg to cancer in 1982. Undaunted and determined to remain active in the sport he loved, Bill taught himself to ski on one leg. Bill eventually lost his battle with cancer but his courage and love of skiing was an inspiration to everyone who watched his struggle. In September of 1988 a group of dedicated Holiday Valley Ski Patrollers with the cooperation and support of Holiday Valley Ski Resort, founded The Bill Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP) to honor his memory. The first pieces of adaptive equipment for the program were purchased using donations that were sent to the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol in Bill’s memory shortly after his death.
Thank you for considering a donation,
Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program
Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. EIN 16-1472799. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution.