December eNews - 2014 - National Ability Center

Learn more about the campaign for a future of possibility

Click Here

December eNews – 2014

The Spittler Family

Thirteen year old Kent Spittler discovered skiing while thumbing through a ski magazine belonging to an older sister. The next winter he took his first ski trip in the Sierras, and has been skiing ever since. He met his wife, Karen, in college: Kent was a ski instructor; Karen was taking lessons. They soon settled down in Utah (where else?) to raise a family.


Life changed dramatically for the Spittlers when they added to their brood by adopting two children from Russia, Lydia and Joshua. “We weren’t fully aware of the neurological damage resulting from birth parent substance abuse,” Kent explained. But the effects became clear as the children grew. Enter: the National Ability Center.


Lydia, 11 at the time, was panic-stricken at the thought of skiing. When the first lesson arrived, Joshua was ready but Lydia dug in her heels, refusing to go. Cajoling and bribes preceded a tearful drive to Park City. To Lydia’s amazement, she not only discovered she could ski, but admitted she enjoyed it. Three years later, she loves it. Kent and Karen use this example to help Lydia face fears of the unknown: social, physical or otherwise.


Their experience prompted Kent to join the National Ability Center on staff as a ski instructor this winter. “As parents of kids with special needs, you get ample opportunity to taste the heartache of unrealized hopes. When you can rejoice in triumphs along the way, it creates a balance to the whole experience. I want to share that blessing with other families,” he said. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”



Join the equestrian program this winter! Winter is a great time to focus on skill progression in the smaller setting of the indoor arena. We are also nearing completion on a new, heated observation room where parents, caregivers and siblings can relax, and observe lessons from out of the cold.


Equestrian Program Manager, Marci Bender’s favorite part about winter in the barn?  “Watching the horses playing in the pastures after a fresh snow fall, or spotting them napping in the sun with snow on their backs.”



Vail Resorts EpicPromise

We are delighted to formally announce our continued strategic partnership with Vail Resorts through their EpicPromise grant program.


Vail Resorts recently awarded a generous grant totaling $20,000 to support expansion of the National Ability Center’s adaptive mountain biking program at Canyons Resort in 2015.


A huge THANK YOU to everyone at Vail Resorts for their generous investment in our mission to serve individuals of all abilities as well as in the greater Park City community through the EpicPromise program.






 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

March 5-7, 2015, this weekend-long festival is made up of four events which will entice culinary enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs and snow-lovers alike.

Reservations open 

January 5, 2015.


 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Equipment and supplies are integral to the success of our equestrian program. Reward the center’s horses for their nice (and sometimes naughty) antics with gifts to help them continue empowering individuals to discover their abilities.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Buy or lease a new Subaru at Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake City by Jan. 2, and Nate Wade will donate $250 to the National Ability Center.

Learn More

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Our Alpine ski, snowboard, Nordic and biathlon programs provide more than 4,200 lessons to people of all abilities, annually.


Your support of this program ensures scholarship funds for participants and families, training and education within the field of adaptive snow sports, and the highest level of equipment to deliver quality lessons.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Saluting Our Heroes luncheon on Nov. 14 in Salt Lake City was a huge success. General Hagee and Layne and Leisl Morris moved the crowd to tears and laughter throughout the heartfelt program.

More than 500 people came to show their support and raise funds for our military programs. This event was the culmination of a week of recognition of our military programs, and we thank everyone who supported the events, and continue to support our service men and women.

Volunteer Training (RSVP required):


Aquatics assistant: 

Monday, 12/15, 4:30-8:30 p.m.


Ski and snowboard peer partner

(volunteers ages 11-17)

Wednesday, 12/17, 5-6 p.m.


Ski and snowboard assistant:  

Saturday, 1/3, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.


Nordic and snowshoe assistant: 

Saturday, 1/10, 5:30-8:30 p.m.


Equestrian assistant:  

Thursday, 1/22, 5:30-8:30 p.m.


Interested in volunteering in the office at our mountain center? We need volunteers seven days a week!



No Comments Yet

Comments are closed.

News Index
Social Media