Most people in the mountain-sports world have heard of the High Fives Foundation, a nonprofit that provides resources and support to mountain athletes who have suffered spinal cord, brain, or other life altering, mobility limiting injuries. Now Roy Tuscany, founder of High Fives, is aiming to help wounded soldiers enjoy the slopes with his newest program: Military to the Mountains.
Tuscany teamed up with former NFL player David Vabora, who had just launched his own athlete-oriented adaptive nonprofit, the Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF). They both wanted to help soldiers, and the result of their partnership is Military to the Mountains.
After a test run with veteran Marine Corporal Jacob Schick (you might remember him from his cameo in American Sniper), word got out about the new organization and an anonymous $50,000 donation came in.
With this money, High Fives sent 10 veterans to train for nine weeks with the ATF and took them skiing in Squaw Valley in March of 2016. It was a success for everyone involved. “We don’t need a handout, we need a hand up,” Schick says. “It reestablished purpose [for us, and gave us back] that light and that spark.”
To learn more, including how to apply for the 2017 program or how to donate, check out highfivesfoundation.org