GoHawkeye awards seven athletes

GoHawkeye awards seven athletes

February 20, 2018 Off By Hawkeye Johnson
$45k distributed in 2017

In the grant period ending December 31, 2017, GoHawkeye awarded over $15,000 to adaptive athletes. Our third year, 2017,  marks a milestone for GoHawkeye supporters because, with your support through financial and in-kind donations, we helped 13 athletes and three organizations with $45,000 for adaptive equipment and experiences.

Our recent recipients span a variety of ages, disabilities, adaptive sports and social backgrounds from across the country.

11-year-old Sam Lopez from Fortworth, Texas loves basketball and plays the game despite having cerebral palsy. He needs a basketball wheelchair to actively compete in his league and has received a $2,000 grant.

14-year-old Kyler Quelch from East Calais, Vermont has been borrowing an ice hockey sled for four years. Cerebral palsy has not stopped his love of adaptive ice hockey which gives him the chance to participate in team sports. We are helping fund his new sled with an $850 grant.

Gregory Auer from Smithfield, Utah spent 14 years as a US Marine which was his life’s ambition. After two deployments to Iraq and several duty stations later, he was discharged due to injuries received while serving. He was devastated. Discovering adaptive sports gave his life new meaning and a new beginning at age 35. When he tried the snow bike, he became hooked on skiing and especially skiing with other veterans. GoHawkeye partnered with Sno Fun Bikes to help purchase a Brenter snow bike and foot skis, for Gregory, with a $1300 grant.

Ben Hulin thought his spinal cord injury in 2006 would prevent him from taking part in recreation and sports. Thanks to the urging of his recreation therapist, he began training with racing wheelchairs and the handcycle in Salt Lake City, Utah. He began skiing and teaching skiing at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. In 2016, at the age of 35, he completed his first full Ironman Triathlon. Ben is a physical education teacher and currently in graduate school. He is working hard to raise money for an off-road handcycle by establishing an online funding site and securing a $3,000 grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation. GoHawkeye admires his efforts and we are excited to “finish” his handcycle quest with a $1,750 grant.

Chelsea Faulkner 39, from Oxnard, California, received a spinal cord and a traumatic brain injury in 1998. Learning to sit-ski has given her much needed freedom and community, however, each time she has had to borrow the equipment. This has meant a lot of time spent fitting a sit ski each time she wants to ski. She has also had to deal with cognitive and learning difficulties since her accident but none of this has stopped her.  Recently she obtained a BA in education and is applying for a teaching credential program at Cal State. She is currently taking additional classes in Spanish and volunteering at two museums. We are impressed with her drive and determination and are helping her with fundraising ideas for her own Tensor sit ski in addition to a $4000 grant to get her dream started.

Channing Cash, from Pacoima, California., was born in Laos and attacked by a bull at 2 years old which resulted in her becoming a permanent wheelchair user. She moved to the US in 1983 and with a disability as well as language barriers, life was difficult and depressing. She thought recreation sports was out of the question. In 2015, she discovered adaptive sports and after attending a few events, she became hooked on off-road hand cycling. The feeling of being close to nature was overwhelming for her, resulting in tears of joy. The companionship of other adaptive riders was an added bonus. GoHawkeye wants to help fund her own Nuke handcycle with a $5,000 grant.

John McArdle, 52, from Barre, Vermont had polio as an infant and was left at an orphanage. In 1972 he was adopted by a family who enjoyed outdoor recreation and John was no exception. John has prided himself on his achievements in sports and overcoming barriers and recreating with his family. Through adaptive sports, he has participated in skiing, hand cycling, and sled hockey but wheelchair basketball has given him the most joy and something to participate in throughout the year. He plays basketball using a day to day wheelchair but this holds him back in maneuvering and speed. GoHawkeye has helped fund a Quickie Basketball wheelchair with a $2,000 grant to help him compete in this fast paced sport.

We couldn’t help these athletes without your financial support. Grant applications continue to arrive as GoHawkeye becomes more well known. As we start our fourth year, we need your donation more than ever as we continue to change lives. Please Donate Now!