Saturday, July 21rd~Monday, July 23rd 2012
Hello Friends and Family of Tom and Hilary,
You were generous to support us in the Sierra Cycle Challenge last year. Since we are both turning 65 this year, we have suffered a definite mental lapse and are going to do the bike ride again this year!!
Our update on Mammoth and Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra is that we again lived a full 6 months in Mammoth this winter. The snow wasn't as excessive this winter, but there was lots to ski on with our disabled students throughout the winter. Between the two of us, we volunteered over 400 hours in Alpine and Nordic activities of the the disabled sports program with Hilary's level of commitment increasing significantly over last year. We personally provided great experiences for dozens of disabled children, wounded warriors, and other adults.
On the downside, Tom had a hairline fracture in his ankle in mid March, that cut short his season. Without going into details, he was steering a disabled student down the mountain in a sit-down rig, when another skier stopped directly in front of them. Sit-down rigs don't stop or turn quickly, and the rest is history. Fortunately the ankle is healing well and seems ready for the bike ride.
Since we are planning to again spend the winter in Mammoth next year and double down on our Disabled Sports commitment, we also bought a house in town. It is sad to leave our condo after 20 years, but our dogs needed more room (the downside is that we now must pay for the house!).
Overall, despite the 20-30% reduction in skier days this winter due to the lighter snowfall, the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra student volume was equal to last year with over 3000 ski lessons through the winter to students with a wide range of cognitive and physical disabilities. The word is out that it is a great program! As a direct result of donations to the program from people like yourselves, almost 50% of the lessons were provided at no charge to students who did not have the resources to pay the normal fee of $75 for a half day lesson. Special adaptive programs included two Wounded Warrior weeks, Nordic and Alpine race clinics, Ski PE for local school districts, Mono-ski Madness for paraplegics, Junior Race clinics, a biathlon (where I broke my ankle), a "Springtacular" week for 45 students in April, and numerous other activities.
In addition to Tom's certification in May 2011 by the U. S. Professional Ski Instructors Association in Alpine and Adaptive skiing, he also was certified in 2012 as a children's teaching specialist (that of course included reading two more Harry Potter books).
This summer we are again participating in the Sierra Cycle Challenge fund raising ride of 150 miles with vertical climbing of over 9000'. It is a ride like no other! Virtually 100% of contributions go straight to the disabled sports program - the support resources associated with the bike ride are almost all donated by volunteers/individuals, other non-profit organizations, and businesses in Mammoth Lakes. Last year the ride contributed over $30,000 to the disabled sports program and through our friends and family we were able to provide over $6000 of that through your contributions.
We need your help! The funds we raise for The Sierra Cycle Challenge go directly toward supporting students with individualized instruction and adaptive equipment, so they can enjoy the same sports that you do. Your donations will allow an autistic student to take his or her first runs down Mammoth Mountain or a Wounded Warrior from the Iraq/Afghan war to remember that life is still worth living.
Hilary and I have a goal to raise $4,000, and will hopefully exceed it again. Please help us reach the goal with a tax-deductible donation to Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra. We will be climbing our way through the 9000' in the Eastern Sierra for three days and thinking gratefully of all our supporters along the way!
A donation of any amount is appreciated. Even if you decide not to make a donation, a note to either of us wishing us well would be great (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Many thanks to you either way.
DSES accepts checks through the mail, and credit cards online or over the phone.
For online donations (easiest way), to sponsor Hilary and Tom, click the "DONATE" button on this page.
Alternatively, send contributions directly to DSES directly below and indicate it is to support Tom and Hilary’s ride (if you do contribute this way, please let us know by email so we are sure to thank you):
Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra
P.O. Box 7275, 1 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
For more general information about the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra program, go to
And if you are interested in seeing some of our great pictures from last year's ride, go to this site:
Thank you so much for your support!
Tom and Hilary