July hike to benefit All Out Adventures

  • Ginny Graves, 72, of Pelham, skis down a trail in the Wendell State Forest using a Scandinavian kick sled with the assistance of All Out Adventures program leader Patti Dougherty. Staff File Photo/Dan Little

  • Carol O’Donnell, left, and Maureen Pasquale-Hall, both of Easthampton, ride recumbent cycles during a cycling program for people with disabilities last October in Hadley. Contributed Photo

For the Recorder
Published: 7/8/2019 10:49:54 PM

A trio of land trusts has organized a hike later this month to benefit All Out Adventures, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities participate in outdoor activities but that is struggling financially.

“Outdoor recreation for people of all abilities has been possible in our community for 18 years because of All Out Adventures of Northampton,” said Susan Schroeder of Hilltown Land Trust. “It is important to support their courageous, groundbreaking steps toward inclusion because doing so reflects our community’s broad, compassionate understanding of our responsibilities to accept and help others.”

The July 20 hike will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Breckenridge Sanctuary on Route 9 in Williamsburg. The event was organized by the Hilltown Land Trust, the Kestrel Land Trust and the Franklin Land Trust. All proceeds raised by the hike will be donated to All Out Adventures.

“We’ve known that our finances have been critical for eight or nine months,” said Karen Foster, executive director of All Out Adventures. “Over the years, our expenses have been increasing and our income hasn’t kept up. We realized we needed to try to raise funds from our community.”

Funded through donations and grants, the organization provides adapted equipment for physical activities year-round and across the state, including in Wendell State Forest. Activities include kayaking, cycling, hiking and — in the winter — snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowmobiling.

Foster said All Out Adventures held a community meeting June 20 with about 30 people from local businesses and organizations interested in helping the organization. Schroeder was among those who came to the meeting and helped get the three land trusts involved with organizing the fundraising hike, she said.

“We’ve gotten a really great outpouring of support from the community,” Foster said.

All Out Adventures charges little to no fees for its programs and currently has three major contracts or grants that provide about 65 percent of its operating costs, according to the nonprofit’s website. Those contracts are with the Veterans Adaptive Sports Grant, the Statewide Head Injury Program and the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Universal Access Program.

Donations, grants, private program fees and profits from recumbent trike sales cover the remainder of the organization’s costs. According to All Out Adventures’ website, 80 percent of every dollar raised directly funds its programs.

“We have two goals (for the fundraiser),” Schroeder said. “One is to broaden the awareness of the wonderful opportunities this organization offers. The other is to help raise critical operating support.”

The Breckenridge Trail is a moderate hike with roots underfoot and a number of steep hills that takes less than an hour to complete. It is not a universally accessible trail and organizers recommend hikers bring water, bug repellant and a snack.

To register for the hike, contact HLToutreach@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485, ext. 4. Participants can also register at the event. The cost is $20 and all checks should be made out to All Out Adventures.


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