Kelly Brush Foundation announces grants

Photo by Caleb Kenna
Handcyclists, led by Kelly Brush, at the start of the Annual Kelly Brush Ride. Held in Middlebury, the race draws more than 700 cyclists and dozens of hand cyclists.

The Kelly Brush Foundation has awarded 112 grants for adaptive sports equipment, totaling $244,287, in support of the foundation’s mission to empower people with paralysis to live active and engaged lives, Executive Director Zeke Davisson announced last week.

The grants are the foundation’s second round of adaptive sports equipment grants this year, and its largest, both in number of recipients and amount awarded, bringing this year’s total to $393,537 for the program.

“We cannot express how excited we are that the Kelly Brush Foundation continues to have such a powerful impact on the lives of so many living with paralysis by assisting with the purchase of specialized equipment that enables them to be active,” Davisson said.

The foundation has more than quadrupled its grant-making in just three years as demand has also grown. “This year we received requests for $1.1 million in qualifying grants, more than three times just three years ago. These numbers motivate us to do even more to meet our mission and get more adaptive equipment to awesome people facing the challenges of paralysis,” Davisson said.

This fall’s grants went to recipients in 38 states. About half of the awards helped with the purchase of adaptive hand cycles. Other equipment included monoskis, basketball chairs, quad rugby chairs, tennis chairs, and ice hockey sleds.

The foundation also made grants totaling $33,712 through Path2Active partnerships with elite adaptive sports programs and rehabilitation hospitals. These grants are made in collaboration with programs that work directly with the people seeking equipment. Currently those partners are the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah; Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo.; the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago; the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

Applications for spring grants will be accepted in January with awards announced in March 2018. Visit online at kellybrushfoundation.org for information.

The Vermont-based nonprofit organization was started in 2006 by Vermont ski racer Kelly Brush and her family after she sustained a spinal cord injury while racing in NCAA Div. 1 competition as a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team.

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