Last Saturday was an awesome moment for the DSC! We had a completely volunteer driven accessible Saturday and everyone stepped up to the challenge. Though there are some kinks that still need to be worked out, I want you to all know that you are all the greatest volunteers! Without your drive and determination our accessible program would not exist and would not be the huge success it has been this year.
Here are some quotes from happy accessible sailors:
“This is our first time coming to the sailing center, it was better than I had ever expected and I can’t wait to return for the next session.”
“We have been coming non-stop this summer, we haven’t smiled this much in over a year, thanks so much to everyone who volunteered for making this possible.”
“My son is so captivated by sailing, I have never seen anything affect him this way. His only movement is his power chair. His use of space, his entire world in fact, is extremely limited. I can imagine that the sailing gives him that which he has been unable to ever experience, a sense of freedom and vast openness. I am truly grateful for this opportunity you have given my son.”
And I wanted to end this with an email from Ed Duggan, someone who is truly dedicated to this program and always tells me that he cannot thank everyone enough!
“I don't think that DSC staff and volunteers understand the enormous value that they add to the lives of people with disabilities trough the Accessible Sailing Program. Every time you see people with disabilities pulling into the parking lot, imagine that they are giving you an ovation. The very fact that they are there shows that they TREMENDOUSLY value what you are doing. How can you know that?
Because just showing up can take hours of work. It might take 30 minutes just to pull yourself up on the bed and transfer to your wheelchair. Bathroom activities can easily take another hour. Getting dressed -maybe yet a further hour. That's not just my story. And that's not just a one-time event. A dozen things can go wrong as you get ready to leave the house and probably half a dozen will. People with disabilities and/or their caregivers, if they have them, might have already put in a half day's work by the time they arrive at 'A' dock at 10:00 a.m.
I have always been proud to be affiliated with the DSC, but today, July 16, 2011, was over the top. All the dinghies were out, plus a Sonar and cruiser. Twenty-six disabled sailors - a huge number! Twenty-six people had adventures to brag about. Twenty-six people soaked in hours of sun, fresh air, new companionship. Twenty-six people left their limitations at the dock. A sailor with a disability recently told me why she so loves the DSC: 'Because they make you feel so welcome here.' I wish that I could convey to you what those words really mean to the heart of a person with a disability.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, thank you all again!
Lynn Handy and the whole DSC staff