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Tester announces adaptive sports grants for disabled veterans

by Whitefish Pilot
| November 30, 2022 1:00 AM

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced $81,500 has been awarded to Disabled Recreation Environmental Access Movement (DREAM) Adaptive Recreation, an organization in Whitefish that helps enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by providing year-round outdoor adaptive recreational opportunities.

This funding will help disabled veterans in Montana improve their independence, well-being and quality of life through adaptive sports programs, according to a press release.

“DREAM Adaptive Recreation does great work in helping Montana’s veterans and military men and women heal from both seen and unseen wounds of war,” said Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “This funding will keep supporting their on-the-ground efforts to connect those who’ve been changed by their service with alternative therapies and treatments closer to home.”

Julie Tickle, DREAM Adaptive’s Executive Director, said she was thankful for the support.

“DREAM believes in the power of outdoor recreation to build community connections and promote mental and physical health,” said Tickle. “We are grateful to Senator Tester for his continued support of our mission and for his efforts to support our nation's heroes—delivering this critical funding that’ll support Montana’s disabled veterans and servicemembers.”

“Looking ahead, we look forward to collaborating with the Kalispell Vet Center and other service providers to expand our reach and positively impact more lives,” she added.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester has fought to secure funding for adaptive recreation opportunities for disabled veterans, the press release says.

This funding was provided under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events Office, which awarded $16 million this year to organizations that improve veterans’ mental and physical health through adaptive sports and activities.