The Eric D. Dettenrieder Memorial Fund, known as EDD Adaptive Sports, announced on Feb. 8 that it donated $6,500 to three local organizations that offer specialized sports instruction for athletes with disabilities.

Athelas Therapeutic Riding in Otego, the 10th Eric D. Dettenrieder Race Camp in Windham and Otsego Area Rowing in Cooperstown all received the grant, which serves individuals with disabilities in central New York to improve skills or learn a new sport.

The EDD mission “is to share the joy of sports with athletes with disabilities” according to the organization’s media release.

The grant for Athelas Therapeutic Riding will support its 2021 horseback riding lesson program. EDD Adaptive Sports and Athelas have partnered since 2012.

Athelas features Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship international certified instructors and gentle horses allowing for an environment that fosters learning for new horseback riders.

The Eric D. Dettenrieder Race Camp is a 3-day race training opportunity in mid-February — run by the Adaptive Sports Foundation — for intermediate and advanced skiers. The Adaptive Sports foundation and EDD have partnered for over 20 years to increase competitive skiing options for skiers with disabilities.

The Adaptive Sports Foundation was founded in 1984 and has been providing sports and recreation opportunities for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities since. According to the ASF website, the program is often described by participants as offering “life changing experiences.”

Otsego Area Rowing partners with EDD to develop an adaptive rowing program that has gained support in recent years from athletes and volunteers. The EDD grant will help support equipment and rowing lessons in 2021.

The Otsego Area rowing mission is “to help people of all ages discover their ability to move a shell through the water” according to the group’s website.

“The adaptive rowing program here on Lake Otsego is the most rewarding activity undertaken by OAR,” Otsego Area Rowing Treasurer, Langhorne Keith said via a media release.

The EDD is a nonprofit organization founded in memory of Eric Douglas Dettenrieder, an Oneonta High School graduate who had a lifelong passion for skiing who died in 1997 at age 23 of injuries suffered during a skiing accident.

Prior to Douglas’ passing, he had the opportunity to teach a group of terminally ill children how to ski. The experience “moved him deeply” and was the inspiration behind EDD Adaptive Sports according to the EDD website.

Since the group was founded in 1998, the organization has served over 4,325 individuals with disabilities through its programs.

EDD partners with Hartwick College, SUNY Delhi and SUNY Morrisville to offer programs like biking, fitness, kickball and pickleball throughout central New York.

To get involved, visit eddfund.org/get-involved.html

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