DREAM annual event raises funds for adaptive recreation programs

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Dream Adaptive Recreation is holding its Spring Fling fundraising gala on Saturday, April 13.

DREAM hosts the Spring Fling annually to raise money for important adaptive recreation programs that support individuals of all ages with cognitive and physical disabilities. The event is 5 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell.

The variety of programs include winter alpine skiing and snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, the Backcountry Powder Camp with Great Northern Powder Guides, mountain biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, a watersports week, and next winter a new Nordic ski program.

Executive Director Julie Tickle said DREAM has a desire to reach more people and make a larger impact in the community.

“DREAM is working diligently to expand programs and offer more adaptive options, so that everyone can recreate outdoors year-round,” Tickle said. “We rely heavily on our dedicated volunteers to provide safe and enjoyable activities, but with growth comes greater expenses. Spring Fling is our largest fundraiser of the year and is crucial to our success.”

The keynote speaker for the event is Paralympic cycling bronze medalist and Montana native Sam Kavanagh.

Kavanagh’s career and life changed on Jan. 1, 2005. While backcountry skiing with close friends, he was caught in an avalanche that resulted in the eventual amputation of his left leg below the knee. After an extensive stay in the hospital and months of recovery, he received his first prosthetic leg on April 18, 2005. It was during this period that the dream of becoming a professional cyclist was reborn.

“Sports empower us on so many levels,” Kavanagh states in his biography on Disabled Sports USA. “There’s that sense of accomplishment there, especially when the general public, or even ourselves, say we’re incapable. The day I got back on my bike, I felt whole again.”

Dream Adaptive has been serving the Flathead Valley for nearly 35 years with the cornerstone program being the adaptive alpine ski and snowboard program.

Don K Subaru and Glacier Bank are title sponsors for the Spring Fling.

Spring Fling tickets cost $65 per person, which includes a prime rib or salmon buffet. The evening includes live music with Mike Murray, silent and live auctions, martini and pie auctions, and a display of adaptive equipment.

To order tickets or learn more, visit dreamadaptive.org/events/ or call (406) 871-6607.

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