Higher Ground 2014 Annual Report

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  • Annual Report: May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014 1

    Achieving New Heights Through Adaptive Sports

    higher ground sun valley annual report 2014

  • 2 Our 501(c)3 id number is 82-0512146

    There are experiences that completely transform a persons life. . . this was one of those experiences.

    Sergeant Joe Danes, US Marine Corps

    Since opening our doors 15 years ago, Higher Ground has remained steadfast in our mission to use innovative therapeutic techniques to help our participants achieve an overall higher quality of life. Recognizing none of this is possible alone, we continuously look to fellow service providers, local and national partners, and you, our supporters, to ensure all Higher Ground participants realize their limitless potential.

    In 2013-14, with this dedicated network of support, we offered more weeklong therapeutic programs than ever before to our nations injured military community; we launched the initial steps to expand our military programming on a national level, thereby serving exponentially more of our countrys deserving service members and Veterans. Locally, Higher Ground continued to serve as the sole adaptive snow sports provider in the Wood River Valley, and aligned our organization more closely with the United States Olympic Committees Paralympic efforts. Finally, we had the privilege of hosting over 400 athletes for the Idaho State Winter Special Olympics games.

    Higher Ground is committed to growing our therapeutic pro-grams, but cannot do that without you. Your support encourages perseverance, bravery, and dedication to help our national and local participants achieve their personal, once seemingly insurmountable, feats.

    Thank you for your role in making this year a remarkable one for Higher Ground; we hope you continue to be a part of shaping Higher Grounds future.

    Kate Weihe,Executive Director

  • Annual Report: May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014 3

    Higher Ground Military Program

    Our mission is to provide the most effective therapeutic recreation services to military families confronted with traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress (PTS), military sexual trauma (MST), and polytrauma through the use of evidence-based practices and the sustained continuum of care necessary for a successful reintegration into their families and communities.

    HG hosts week-long camps throughout the year, each completely free of charge to Veterans and their supporters. Staff selects eight to ten participants for the camp based on common attributes such as injury, marital status, or home region. The goal for forming this new unit is to optimize cohesiveness among Service Members, and set participants up for individual and group success.

    In addition to local Sun Valley Military Program efforts, Higher Grounds national military expansion effort is officially underway. Demographic research and development planning has begun to identify the most effective programming locations across the United States. Using the Higher Ground model of therapeutic recreation, the vision of the expansion effort is for Higher Ground to be the nations leading resource to empower Military Service Members and Veterans through therapeutic recreation services accessible from anywhere in the nation.

    We use innovative outdoor sport and coping therapies to help rehabilitate injured service members with TBIs, PTS, MST, or polytrauma and their supporters.

    Camps are 100% free to participants and their supporters.

    Our recreation therapists schedule regular follow ups with our participants for at least three years after participants complete their programs.

    Higher Ground designates a reintegration budget for each of our participants to help them continue to progress once they return home.


  • 4 Our 501(c)3 id number is 82-0512146

    I am so thankful to this program because I never imagined I would be able to see my son have the opportunity to go skiing. Mom of participant

    A participant from our first ever Advanced Youth Camp, a program developed to give young potential competitors the opportunity to ski with a former US Paralympian monoskier and work towards their Paralympic goals.

  • Annual Report: May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014 5

    Higher Ground Recreation Program

    SUMMEROur Summer Recreation Program serves individuals in the Wood River Valley with physical and cognitive disabilities. The only program of its kind in the Valley, HG provides a unique setting for these participants who otherwise may not have the opportunity for this day camp experi-ence. A staff of therapeutic recreation professionals, adaptive physical educators, and highly experienced counselors focus on helping our participants develop life skills through appropriate activities, projects, and challenges. We also offer an off-road handcycling program for individuals with physical disabilities to enjoy weekly evening rides and multi-day camps in the Sawtooth Mountains.

    WINTEROur Winter Recreation Program primarily focuses on alpine skiing, snowboarding, sled hockey, and Nordic skiing for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The goal of this 5-month program is to provide individual instruction that increases the participants ability to a level where he or she can enjoy snow sports at the highest possible integrated setting. Participants learn physical and communication skills to apply at home and school; snow sport goals are also set for individu-als in order to track progress throughout the season. New additions to our upcoming winter curriculum include multi-day adventures for adults with physical disabilities, combining accessible backcountry huts and touring experiences.

    Maximum 2:1 participant to counselor ratio and high growth rates in camp participation.

    Local partnerships continue to grow within our programs including the Wood River YMCA, The Hunger Coalition, the BCRD, Mountain Adventure Tours, the Environmental Resource Center and The Sage School.

    The 2nd Annual Off Road Handcycling camp was a huge success with skill breakthroughs for each rider while making friends along the way.

    HG provided 4,376 on snow hours to nearly 200 participants.

    HG hosted our first Advanced Youth Camp to help potential competitors work towards their Paralympic goals.

    The inaugural Backcountry Camp, developed for mono-skiers to experience Alpine, Heli and Nordic skiing, was a huge success.



  • 6 Our 501(c)3 id number is 82-0512146

    This program is fantastic! It helps build lifelong skillsnot only the activities, but social skills for community inclusion. Special Olympics truly enrichesparticipants and the community. Trish Iverson, parent of a HG Special Olympics Athlete

    Crossing the finish line! SO participants from across Southeastern Idaho joined together to compete in winter events like Alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.

  • Annual Report: May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014 7

    Special Olympics

    Arguably the most well-known adaptive sports program worldwide, we are proud to be the Wood River Valleys local affiliate for the Special Olympics organization. Special Olympics empowers athletes with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, respected, and productive members of their communities through athletic training and competition, which are shared values within our own organization.

    Currently, the Higher Ground Special Olympics program serves more than 40 local athletes throughout the year competing in Special Olympics sports. Trainings and specific goals are tailored to individual skills and abilities; HG athletes practice arduously to achieve the motto of being brave in the attempt to win. Through their trainings, participants gain self-confidence, physical skills, communication strategies, teamwork abilities, and new social cues. Higher Ground offers five programs for our athletes: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, bocce, and swimming.

    Currently, the Higher Ground Special Olympics program serves more than 40 local athletes throughout the year competing in Special Olympics sports.

    Higher Ground offers five different programs for our Special Olympics athelets, all tailored to individual skills and abilities: Nordic, Alpine, Snowboarding, Swim, and Bocce teams.

    Higher Ground hosted the Special Olympics Winter State Games in 2014 and will be hosting again in 2015.


  • 8 Our 501(c)3 id number is 82-0512146

    Higher Ground is grateful...

    To Our DonorsYou, our donors, are the heart of Higher Ground and your generosity enables us to provide each of our programs with the professionals, equipment, and resources we need to effectively serve our diverse participants. Our collective vision and mission are grand in scope and efficacious in practice, but would be impossible without you. Whether your interest lies in helping our injured service members with PTS, TBI, and MST reintegrate smoothly back into society through our Military Program; or you enjoy supporting our Recreation Program through the Special Olympics; or giving someone with a spinal cord injury the chance to ski to their full potential; your involvement in Higher Ground transcends individuals to affect far-reaching positive change. As Higher Ground continues to move forward and serve more participants than ever before, we are increasingly thankful of the ongoing support and commitment from each of you.

    To Our Volunteers

    Higher Ground Sun Valleys pulse comes from our dynamic volunteers and the dedication and love that you put into our programs. Our volunteers dedicate thousands of program hours to make sure our participants are out being active. There are not enough words to say Thank You for all the cold mornings that you have spent teaching lessons on Dollar, the countless hours of office work, the full days at summer camp, and your continuous support with events! ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.

  • Annual Report: May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014 9

    FOUNDERS $25,000 and aboveAnonymousSpike and Debbe BoothOtis Booth FoundationJohn and Carey DonderoBill and Linda PotterPeter and Jennifer RobertsThe Ambrose Monell FoundationThe Gibney Family FoundationThe Scoob Trust FoundationSun Valley CompanyJohn and Ali WaleckaThe Katharine Audrey Webb FoundationWilliam and Sis WeidnerWilbur D. May Foundation

    CHAMPIONS $10,000 - $24,999AnonymousCarl and Renee BehnkeCraig H. Neilsen FoundationCroul Family FoundationDisabled Sports USALeon and Ann EllisChip and Sandra FisherTim and Tracy FlahertyChris and Jackie FlaniganJohn and Elaine FrenchEric and Tammy GustavsonBill and Susan HoehnHouston Family FoundationJanice Seagraves Family FoundationBuck and Kitty JonesJulie Ann Wrigley FoundationKatharine Audrey Webb FoundationKoret FoundationMichael and Carole MarksAmbrose and Lili MonellTim and Nannette NelsonJohn and Stephanie PerenchioVicki and Gordon RosenbergJohn and Karen RyanPaul and Chris StefaniStephenson FoundationThe Charles Engelhard FoundationThe Gardner Grout FoundationThe Reid Family FundTom May - David May II FoundationKathinka and John Tunney

    Joseph and Nancy VerskaWest Coast UniversityQuin WhitmanWodecroft Foundation

    STEWARDS $5,000 - $9,999AGL FoundationRick and Allison BennersDavid and Diane BradfordDoug and Laura BurdgeC. Preston and Carolyn ButcherChristopher and Dana Reeve FoundationDerek and Sophie CraigheadJim and Susie CroulRon and Vicki CurrieDavid D. MacMillan Family FoundationBob and Linda EdwardsElevate Recruiting Group, Inc. Glad To Be Here FoundationWayne and Cynnie GriffinSam and Peggy GrossmanCarl and Patti HarrisSteven and Karen HolzmanJoan Leidy FoundationCharlie and Kathy JohnsonMichael and Leslie LanahanJohn and Barbara LehmanDavid LevereJerry and Mary Beth MitchellAl and Bonnie MoorhouseDave and Carol MutzelRoger and Sheron OConnellSara and Paul PetitSt. Lukes Wood River Foundation Inc.Susan SwigThe Curtis W. McGraw FoundationThe Delta Air Lines FoundationThe OConnell Family Foundation Inc.The ReSource Trust Inc. TOSA Foundation

    ASSOCIATES $2,500 - $4,999Alan and Frankie FreeseHerb AllenAnthony and Mariana PaenHarris and Megan BartonLeslie BenzAnthony and Feintech Bernhardt

    Bigwood BreadBeth ChandlerBob and Sylvia CookPeter CurranChris and Holley duPontMary Jane ElmoreEllen Tracy and Mike FergusonMarvin FinkDeana and Morley GoldenGeorge and Rita GolleherHeart Of Gold FundIdaho Division Of Veterans ServicesBill and Laura JarvisOris and Bonnie KirkLandmark Charitable FoundationLee Gilman Builders, Inc.Michael MarsVince and Joy McGuinnessBill and Adrian NorrisOlson Miller and Cox FoundationBruce PattonThomas PerakosKeri PotterKip and Jolene PrahlMona and Pete PruddenRoth Charitable FoundationConnie J. SmithSt. Lukes Wood River Medical CenterCathy SwinkThe Lawn Party FoundationMark and Marcia ThomasMarvin and Cathy TurbowUnited States Olympic CommitteeLynn Campion and Ted WaddellThomas R. and Nancy WallCandy and Jay WaltonRichard and Penny Weiss

    SUPPORTERS $1,000 - $2,499Robert and Michelle AngellAnonymousArchive FinishingDouglas P. BiederbeckFred and Gayle BiekerJack and Pat BillhardtMelinda and Alan BlinkenBoise Gun CompanyGary and Anne Borman

    Peter and Toni BreckBreckinridge Capital AdvisorsBrittingham Family FoundationMarvin and Maureen BrownJohn and Jennifer CampbellMaggie CastonEugene and Elsie ChestonJoe ChlebowskiDale and Linda ClosnerEarl and Susan CohenMichael and Mary ColhounCommunity SchoolElizabeth CopleyLois CoppermanJames CrumpackerEd CumminsEd and Susan CutterMike DiandaDan and Martine DrackettCecil W. and Sally DrinkwardEd and Carol DumkeTimothy W. FergusonJim and Barbara FiggeJanet Nathanail and William FlanzMarybeth and Joe Bauwens FlowerThomas and Myrna FrankelPaul and Carol Freemont-SmithJohn and Carla GarrisonWilliam Gess Jr.

    We strive to be accurate with our lists. Please notify us of any errors or omissions.

    Higher ground military participants navigating the Henrys Fork waters.

  • 10 Our 501(c)3 id number is 82-0512146

    Professional Leisure TourProfessional RoofingRichard and Patricia BruderGeorge and Kate RoweS. G. PropertiesChristopher and Jessica SageJan SaltaTom and Jill SchriberPeter ScobellSeneca Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation, Inc.Suzanne ShawKathy Crosson and Stuart SidermanErin SmithPeter and Becky SmithRichard A. and Judy SmookeTad and Lacey SmythSouth Valley PizzeriaMiles and Jean StanislawLawrence and Linda StirlingThe Exley Revocable Living TrustThe Milias FoundationThomas W. Smith FoundationVista FoundationFrederick and Jill VogelJames and Christine WarjoneJay Cassell and Gay WeakeChip and Daryl WeilJim WilharmSam and Shelley WilliamsJeri WolfsonWood River FoundationWood River High SchoolJim and Tricia WoodWard and Priscilla Woods

    PATRONS $500 - $999AnonymousSam BakerBernes GroupMatt and Toni BogueGeorge and Jamie CatonWendy ChaseSilicon Valley Community FoundationLeon CondoC. E. CordCaroline DaytonChristine DeckKaren DetwilerDerek DonovanBrian Duffy

    Penny EagenRyan and Templ...