Westchester Parks Foundation (WPF) will celebrate #GivingTuesday this year with a month-long dedicated campaign to raise money to kickstart the first ever Adaptive Hike Program within Westchester County Parks. The organization is looking to purchase (2) trail capable All-Terrain Trackchairs for individuals to reserve at no cost throughout Westchester County Parks. The campaign will run through #GivingTuesday on November 29, 2022. #TrailsWithoutLimits
“This past summer, we did a pilot program at Saxon Woods Park for individuals living with paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, and cerebral palsy, and the response was phenomenal,” stated Erin Cordiner, Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement, Westchester Parks Foundation. “Experiencing the positive impact these chairs make possible is the reason we decided to engage our corporate partners, local businesses, committed volunteers, and fellow parksters to help us achieve our goal and fund two All-Terrain Trackchairs so we can launch this essential program in Spring 2023.
Rome Leykin of Stamford, CT, who is living with bilateral double above knee amputation, participated in the pilot program and remarked: “What I can do with this wheelchair is get back to the nitty gritty dirty trails that I have not been to since my accident. It’s that freedom, the smells of nature, you can’t get that anywhere else. It’s important to give adaptive athletes the opportunity to be out in the wilderness again…”
Veteran Lu Caldara from Ossining, NY added: “It will give veterans the opportunity to be active with their families, particularly the grandchildren to get out and see more than just concrete. It will help our veterans get back to the quiet and nature…[while] interacting with friends and family.”
Stefanie Nikprelaj, who has Cerebal Palsy and from Bedford, NY stated: “This changes my perspective on the outdoors because normally there’s nothing for me to do but with chairs like this, I have a bunch of opportunities”
#GivingTuesday is a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Community members can make this program possible by contributing here: TheWPF.org/ParksAreForEveryone
For more information log on to: www.thewpf.org