Kelly Brush Foundation names recipients
BURLINGTON — The Kelly Brush Foundation awarded $232,650 in grants for adaptive sports equipment, ski racing safety and strategic partnerships, Kelly Brush Foundation Executive Director Zeke Davisson has announced.
The awards were given to 75 individuals with paralysis, 15 alpine ski clubs from around the country and in support of pilot programs and partnerships to help grow the foundation’s mission and reach.
“The Kelly Brush Foundation received more applications this year than ever before, and because of a great fundraising year we were able to fund more than ever. We are even more motivated and energized for next year,” said Kelly Brush Foundation Founder Kelly Brush.
The Kelly Brush Foundation granted nearly $150,000 in Adaptive Sports Equipment Grants to individuals living with paralysis, empowering them to define their own active lifestyles through ownership of adaptive sports equipment. The grants were given to individuals residing in 31 states and will support the purchase of handcycles, monoskis and tennis, rugby, basketball and racing chairs, as well as all-terrain chairs, hockey sleds and bowling ramps.
“It’s so important for individuals living with paralysis to live active lifestyles on their own terms. For many, the equipment they need is cost prohibitive. That is where the Kelly Brush Foundation steps in,” Davisson said.
The Kelly Brush Foundation also granted nearly $75,000 in Ski Racing Safety Grants to alpine ski racing programs committed to proper safety practices that are seeking to improve safety for their athletes. The grants were awarded to clubs in 12 states to support the purchase of safety equipment, predominantly b-net fencing used to line race and training courses.
“Safety should be a priority for every program in the country,” Davisson said. “The Kelly Brush Foundation supports clubs that come to us with both a genuine commitment to safety and financial need.”
In addition to the funding provided through the foundation’s grant programs, another $11,000 was allocated to partnerships and pilot programs aimed at fulfilling the foundation’s goals in innovative ways. For example, the Kelly Brush Foundation has partnered with Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo., a world-renowned spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital, to improve and streamline the opportunity for Craig graduates to own adaptive sports equipment.
“Partnerships are key to the future of our growing mission. We’re beginning to collaborate with some incredible partners to expand our efforts to both empower those with spinal cord injury and to improve ski racing safety,” said Davisson.
The annual grants are made possible by the enthusiasm of generous supporters and the success of several annual events, including the Kelly Brush Century Ride, the foundation’s marquee fundraising event. This past September, more than 700 cyclists, including more than 25 handcyclists, came together in Middlebury to ride in support of the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission, and raised more than $365,000.
The Kelly Brush Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering those with spinal cord injury through ownership of adaptive sports equipment and improving safety in the sport of ski racing. The foundation has raised more than $2.5 million, helping to purchase more than 350 pieces of adaptive sports equipment and keep thousands of ski racers safe.
Kelly Brush, together with her family, started the foundation in 2006 after she sustained a spinal cord injury while racing in NCAA Div. I competition as a member of the Middlebury College ski team. The Kelly Brush Foundation affirms Brush’s ongoing commitment to live life on her own terms and better the lives of others living with spinal cord injuries. Learn more at www.kellybrushfoundation.org.
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