We were on vacation visiting family in Salt Lake City when we learned about WAS seven years ago. Drake was no stranger to the slopes as he had skied with other adaptive programs outside of Utah before his first lesson at Snowbird. But the warm welcome from the staff and instructors — and how they championed our son — made us feel at home.
When we moved to the Wasatch Front two years later, reconnecting with WAS and its awesome staff was a must. For our first outing, we went bike riding at Liberty Park. We knew right away we’d made the right choice to join the WAS community. Still, Drake couldn’t wait to ski — and he’s skied with WAS each season since.
WAS cultivates a sense of belonging, where everyone is fun, kind, and excited to see Drake. The options to recreate outdoors for a young person with physical challenges can be limiting — and isolating — as it is for Drake and our family. But not when it comes to WAS.
We have created so many wonderful memories while being outside with WAS. From skiing corn snow in silly costumes at the end of the season to shooting video for Drake’s YouTube channel (D-Dog City) while shredding powder or ripping groomers to making staff announcements over the walkie-talkie, Drake has felt empowered by his instructors to be himself and to laugh, learn and love.
On the slopes, bike trails, and water, WAS provides a safe space in a friendly environment that is challenging, rewarding, and liberating for Drake. It also gives our family the opportunity to do something that gives us all so much joy — skiing — together. For these reasons — and the relationships WAS promotes — we support and give to Wasatch Adaptive Sports year after year.