today is Sep 28, 2022

More than a dozen kids from Florida got to experience skiing for the first time thanks to a collaboration between Wheelchairs 4 Kids, Southwest Airlines, Breckenridge Ski resort and adaptive skiing programs.

FOX31 reports Wheelchairs 4 Kids, a Tampa-based nonprofit, was one of 52 nonprofits recognized by Southwest Airlines through a national competition designed to reward organizations for the work they do in their communities. The carrier donated 100 domestic travel awards to each contest winner.

Madeline Robinson, executive director of Wheelchairs 4 Kids, decided to use the tickets to fly 18 students from Wheelchairs 4 Kids and their parents to Colorado to introduce them to adaptive skiing, a sport these children would otherwise never have a chance to experience on their own:

“We never ever dreamed that we would be in Colorado in the snow, skiing. So, this is the most amazing thing that we have ever done. They’re in a wheelchair most of their life. They don’t get to do things (that most kids get to do outdoors). And here, gosh, they’re going down!And one of them even said they went down a black, on a sit-ski.” -Madeline Robinson

Ski program director Jeff Inouye said kids in the program left a lasting impression on his staff:

“The combination of never skiing before, some of them never seeing snow, I think that’s what just what makes it such a great experience.”

Don’t know about you but my heart doubles in size seeing the smiles on these kids faces as they experience the sports and environment that we love so dearly. Cheers to everyone and all the organizations involved. This is awesome.