On Nov. 17, the Vista Outdoor Foundation announced its 2021 Grant Partners. The Foundation’s Board of Directors chose ten organizations that promote conservation, encourage youth and veteran participation in outdoor sports, and work to improve diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. The recipients received over $600,000 in grant funding.
We often hear these stories when they are first introduced or announced, but we wanted to dive deeper so our employees and external stakeholders can learn more about the Foundation’s partners, their missions and how they are putting their grants to good use.
This month, we kick off “Common Ground” – a monthly feature where we highlight our grantees and their excellent work.
Why the National Ability Center?
“At Vista Outdoor and at the Foundation, we believe that outdoor recreation is for everyone. The National Ability Center is changing lives each season by helping people with disabilities explore the outdoors through a variety of sports, including on skis and by bike. Their work aligns closely with the Foundation’s mission to help create a more diverse and accessible outdoor recreation system. No one should be denied the mental and physical health benefits that come from time spent outside,” said Dylan Ramsey, Vista Outdoor Foundation Chair and General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Vista Outdoor.
National Ability Center’s Mission: To empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.
Serves: Veterans, active duty and retired military servicepersons and individuals with physical, cognitive or disease-related disabilities.
Facts from the National Ability Center:
- It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Americans lives with a disability. This means most people have someone in their family or knows someone who could benefit from the National Ability Center’s programs.
- Whether someone is a never-ever or pursuing dreams of competing in the Paralympic Games, the National Ability Center has programs to suit!
Grant Power: Each year the National Ability Center provides between $350,000-$500,000 in scholarships to veterans and individuals with disabilities to help make adaptive recreation programs accessible.
The Vista Outdoor Foundation grant will go towards these scholarships to ensure the outdoors is accessible to people of all abilities. The funds from the Foundation will also help the organization grow the organization’s adaptive rock climbing, cycling, skiing, mountain biking and whitewater rafting programs.
“Every day, this grant from the Vista Outdoor Foundation builds a more inclusive community whether by enabling athletes to discover dreams of world-class competition or allowing families to experience the power of time together outdoors,” said Whitney Thompson, Marketing Director at National Ability Center. “This funding is critical to our capacity to ensure inclusive adaptive outdoor programming like rock climbing, skiing, rafting, biking and camping is accessible to individuals with disabilities and their families regardless of financial situation.”
Whitney explained that through scholarships and program resources, the Vista Outdoor grant is truly helping to change lives, and the face of the outdoor recreation.
“For over 35 years, the National Ability Center has been helping make outdoor recreation and adventure accessible to people of all abilities,” said Ramsey. “We are proud to partner with them to help grow and expand this important effort.”