What is Vermont Adaptive? Who are they and what do they do?
Also known as Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, Vermont Adaptive is an organization that promotes independence and dignity through modified sports equipment. Vermont Adaptive is geared toward individuals with physical, cognitive or mental/behavioral impairments. They have a wide range of equipment for activities including biking, tennis, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, horseback riding and many more!
Ellen Burke, a former resident of EastView who passed in the Fall of 2017, was an extremely caring, active and beautiful woman. Her daughter Maggie, and husband Mike, visited her so often they were part of our EastView family. Mike and Maggie, who works for Vermont Adaptive, donated two days of Adaptive Biking to EastView in memory of Ellen Burke and to give back to EastView. It was a great way to say “Thank you”.
On Wednesday, May 17th, around 10am, a white van and trailer pulled into the EastView parking lot. Three employees jumped out and started to roll out bicycles, one by one, from the back of the trailer. About 10 bicycles of all shapes, colors and sizes were lined up in the sun. Bikes with one seat, bikes with two seats, bikes with 2 wheels, bikes with 3 wheels and even bikes with 4 wheels rested on the pavement next to a pile of helmets. Fifteen EastView residents came by to check the bikes out, some even took them for a spin. A couple of staff members joined in the fun at various times, to get a hands-on feel for how the bicycles rode. We had one resident take out her very own recumbent bike and strike up a conversation before she pedaled away on a ride into Middlebury. There was a steady flow of residents who participated in the event from 10am- 2pm. Residents pedaled on the paved path around EastView and some even went twice. Most reactions were exclamations like; “I haven’t been on a bike in years!” and “This is wonderful!” Smiles and warm sun touched all that participated.
Vermont Adaptive came back for a second biking activity day on Friday, June 9th, from 10am-2pm. This time they were parked in the front parking lot that leads into the EastView lobby. We had a total of twenty-one residents from EastView participate which was a bigger turnout than the first day. The weather was beautiful and sunny. We had a many people relaxing in the rocking chairs for a majority of the time. Overall, a very successful, memorable couple of days at EastView at Middlebury. We hope to have Vermont Adaptive back in the future either with bicycles again or another outdoor sports activity.
Thank you so much, Vermont Adaptive and Maggie and Mike!