Tim Lucas
Tim Lucas's Fundraiser

Join me in providing opportunities for people with disabilities that build health, confidence and independence!

Please help me reach my goal to support Achieve Tahoe programs.

$4,695 towards $5,000

Background on Achieve:

Achieve Tahoe is a nonprofit that builds health, confidence and independence through recreational sports for children and adults with disabilities. The organization serves over 500 people a year through one-on-one snowsports lessons, waterskiing, paddle sports and more. Achieve Tahoe's highly trained instructors and specialized, adaptive equipment allow the organization to serve just about anyone with any disability. Achieve Tahoe participants and family members often say that their experience with Achieve Tahoe goes on to affect other areas of their life such as gaining confidence to try other sports, becoming more social, and breaking down perceived barriers showing them that they can do things they perhaps never thought they could before. The Sierra Sun recently published an article on people taking on the mountains with adaptive skills, here is more on their stories: https://www.sierrasun.com/news/achieving-greatness-5-inspiring-people-who-are-taking-skiing-to-new-heights/

How did I get involved? Well, Achieve Tahoe has been at Alpine Meadows for over 50 years. Since I started skiing in Tahoe in 2001, year after year, I walked by their building thinking to myself how cool it was to have a specialized learning center and how much admiration I had for the participants and staff.

Skiing is not easy. There are a lot of variables in skiing and riding. People who teach need to account for them. People who work people with adaptive needs to account for many more. In November, I spent a day with the Achieve team in classroom training and was overwhelmed with how incredibly awesome they were. In December, I spent a day training on the mountain with them and they gave me reassurance and the confidence that I might be able to do this... after all, the constant with all people visiting Alpine Meadows is the search for good times... and, I know I can share that experience.

On Monday 1/20; I started my first of six days of volunteering as an assistant to a professional instructor. We worked with two different participants over the course of three two hour sessions. It was an incredible experience riding all over the mountain and having good times with other people. It is always fun exploring new lines down the mountain and having some good conversations on the lifts up the hill.

My second day started with a participant that was blind, deaf and autistic. She had been skiing with Achieve Tahoe for over two decades and was fearless. At one point, she spontaneously started giggling. Inspiring, humbling and just a great morning. The rest of the day was with another autistic participant who was just as fearless. And, after a fall, had a few tears, but the lead instructor was so positive and before the end of the lesson we were back to "woohooos" while sliding down a snowy hill with wooden planks attached to our feet. All in all, it was another great experience. My next volunteer day is Super Bowl Sunday. Looking forward to it.

My third day was a cold one, temperatures dropped into the low twenties degrees Fahrenheit. The first session was with a participant who had limited feeling in his lower left leg so we were using a piece of equipment that provided him 4 points of contact with the snow (his two skis plus an additional two skis). My second and third session was assisting a participant who couldn't speak and had been with Achieve Tahoe taking lessons for years. His mother said that Achieve Tahoe gets credit for him walking as it built strength in his legs. One of the legendary instructors at Achieve, Karen, basically took him from a sit mono ski to stand up skis several years ago. It is amazing to see what a focus on the participants' abilities can do.

I ended up missing my last two days when the corona virus shut down Alpine Meadows. I definitely think that I got more out of volunteering this year than I put in. A lot of learning and smiles and even a couple giggles warms the soul.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who work and volunteer at Achieve, they are superstars in every sense of the word and thanks to them for making me feel welcome.

Be safe and thank you,

Tim