Your Impact Report 2015

Your Impact Report – 2015

Adaptive Sport Donor NewsView the complete PDF version for photos and more.


Thanks to your ongoing support, children, adults, families and veterans enjoy the beauty of Utah’s great outdoors, recreate with loved ones and discover their own unique abilities every day.

As the need for adaptive programing grows, the National Ability Center continues to rise to those demands. Through the generosity of individuals like you, we’ve been able to grow in innovative ways. This summer we look forward to expanding our adaptive

Thanks to your ongoing support, children, adults, families and veterans enjoy the beauty of Utah’s great outdoors, recreate with loved ones and discover their own unique abilities every day.

As the need for adaptive programing grows, the National Ability Center continues to rise to those demands. Through the generosity of individuals like you, we’ve been able to grow in innovative ways. This summer we look forward to expanding our adaptive mountain biking program, welcoming families and groups on horseback trail rides, and hosting our first overnight sibling camp. Our mission is being realized here every day because of your gifts.

Join us on August 14 to cheer on adaptive athletes during our first “summer field day.” Or take on a personal challenge, on your bike or as a volunteer, at our annual Summit Challenge road ride happening August 22. See our mission in action, and discover new possibilities.

Sincerely,

Gail Loveland

Executive Director


autism story - Sam SteppanYour generosity has allowed the Steppans to discover balance.

“It’s nothing you plan for,” said Lisa Steppan, mom to 11-year-old Sam who was diagnosed with autism at age two. “It’s like planning for Italy, but arriving in France.”

Sam became involved in ski and swim lessons early on, and now camps, but he’s not the only one to benefit from his time at the National Ability Center.

“NAC gives me a break from the constant pouring out,” Lisa shared. “Staff members love him like I do. Having someone else who understands what he’s going through allows me to recharge.”

Sam has attended a number of camps and lessons, conquering cycling, rock climbing and horseback riding along the way. These experiences give Sam something Lisa can’t. He’s able to be in a group setting with kids a lot like him, surrounded by knowledgeable and patient staff. There’s always someone available to care for his needs, who knows how to calm him down when he needs it.


Veteran Charity Story - Layne MorrisYour gifts inspired Layne Morris to re-embrace life.

Layne Morris joined the army in 1983—the military offered him a career that perfectly suited his adventurous personality. While under fire in Afghanistan, Layne was struck by grenade shrapnel. The injury left him blind in his right eye, and with sustained inner ear damage. After 22 years in the 19th Special Forces group, he retired Sergeant First Class.

“You see yourself as a certain type in your career, your lifestyle. When those things are taken away, it really affects your self-perception,” Layne said.

When their family arrived at the National Ability Center, it was in Layne’s willingness to try cycling and archery that he gained valuable insight: “I sucked at it,” he confessed, but soon realized, “I can still do it . . . I’m with my family and I’m doing things that are fun. . . . Maybe I’ve been looking at this all wrong.” It was this mindfulness that started Layne on the path to healing.

“[It’s been] incredible for our marriage and for our kids to see that Dad can get better and be happy,” his wife, Liesl, shared. “The National Ability Center was the reason we can do activities together . . . [the reason] Layne has hope.”


Internship for blind story - COACH Your support guided Ali Steenis through a life-changing internship.

Born with a visual impairment, Ali never let a lack of sight get in her way. This independent spirit grew when she found her passion in horses within the world of therapeutic riding. But as a college student, Ali realized something was missing.

“I needed to find my direction,” she explained. “I was eager to do something that was really meaningful, not only for myself, but for other people.”

That’s when Ali got connected to the COACH internship at the National Ability Center. COACH, piloted in 2012, now boasts 15 former interns, with five more joining us for summer 2015. Designed for young adults with disabilities, COACH is based on our belief that sports are an excellent catalyst for teaching vital life skills.

After her summer at the National Ability Center, Ali is now heavily involved in student leadership, bettering the lives of her peers through inclusion, empowerment and relationship.

“The National Ability Center is a huge springboard for people: participants, staff, families, volunteers, donors,” Ali shared. “It’s a springboard to different elements of a journey.”


Did You Know?

  • The National Ability Center reaches participants and supporters from all 50 states and more than18 countries across the globe.
  • More than 96 percent of people surveyed would recommend the National Ability Center’s camps and ongoing programs to a friend.
  • More than 90 percent of individuals surveyed agreed that their participation in ongoing programs at the National Ability Center has  increased their self-esteem.
  • Thanks to YOUR generosity, this past year the National Ability Center hosted  three national conferences and 27 internships, including COACH interns like Ali.

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