Monday, February 28, 2011

Higher Ground: Healing America's Wounded Veterans in Sun Valley

"Today I found out that what I thought would be a physical barrier, never was a barrier. I didn't find stress. I found release. I found a side of me that was always there but I was never brave enough to look at it."

-Adam Rollins, U.S. Army

Sun Valley Adaptive Sports makes the above a reality.

Their mission: enriching the lives of people with disabilities through sports and recreation.

One of the agents in our office, Bill Norris, is closely associated with this program, and wrote a short piece about his experiences.

"As a former Officer LT JG serving on the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown during the late 50s in southeast Asia, I have always had a heart for the separation of service members and their families, wives and significant others. I was asked to help 5 years ago as a driver for Sun Valley Adaptive Sports during one of our wounded service member programs. I met a young woman in the front passenger seat with me, she was way too young to have a double amputee son wounded in Iraq in the back seat of my car. His artificial legs were in the trunk and he was yahooing in the back seat, ecstatic with joy to have snowboarded down River Run  on our adaptive snowboarding equipment. His 30 something year old mother was his “significant other” and she was equally as ecstatic to see him doing something so amazingly important to his physical and mental recovery with his complicated wounds. Next thing I knew I was serving on the Board of Directors of the organization and personally hosting one of the annual Higher Ground summer watersports camps at our Pettit Lake Cabin with very much “hands on” participation with these incredible brave young men (and their equally brave wives/caretakers ), as they reintegrate into American life with their disabilities and new unexpected challenges. We are now nationally recognized as one of the most sought after campuses in the country for wounded servicemen and their wives/significant others. Typically serving 6 couples at a time, so as to provide intimate physical and mental therapy utilizing adaptive winter and summer sports, including flyfishing, to challenge these men and women to strive once again.
I have so many personal stories I wouldn't know where to start so encourage anyone who wants to be involved to call me at 208.720.0724 and join the Higher Ground program or one of our summer programs serving local Blaine County special needs children, teenagers and young adults…Go Sun Valley Adaptive Sports!"

A little bit about the Higher Ground Program:
Higher Ground (HG) utilizes a highly innovative, multidisciplinary approach to therapy that combines sports, family, and coping therapies to restore and rehabilitate men and women of the armed forces who have been severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. HG is recognized as one of the premier rehabilitation programs in the country by the Department of Defense, military medical centers, and veteran service organizations. Often overlooked, a veteran's transition back into civilian life poses challenges that can be as daunting as the physical recovery. Our goal is to give each veteran the physical skills, confidence, and coping strategies necessary for a successful reintegration into their families and communities.

We inspire hope and encourage veterans and their significant others to apply the lessons learned at HG camps to their daily lives. The transformations that take place are truly profound. Veterans leave our program having rediscovered their own potential, committed to not allowing their injuries define who they are.

-Courtesy Sun Valley Adaptive Sports

Please visit the website at for more information.

Linked are two videos by Mark Oliver
SVASP Wounded Warriors: Segment One and Two

Below are photos from this and last years events, as well as the information flyer for this weeks program, Feb 27-March 4.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snowkite Tour Championship in Fairfield!

A great President's Day weekend is behind us! With 17" of new snowfall accumulating in Sun Valley, a winter wonderland emerged and welcomed the 7400 skiers and snowboarders on Saturday and 6000 on Sunday! Not too shabby!

But of course, there is no lull in the endless activities, and tomorrow starts the Snow Kite Tour Championship in Fairfield, Idaho!  In attendance to compete are "skiers and snowboarders, men and women who have competed in tour stops in Montana, Colorado, Utah and Idaho and showcased their talent and race ability." Everyone is invited, as a spectator or even to join in the free 30 minute beginner clinics! The festivities run from February 24-27.

I have posted a few photos below, courtesy of and Aaron Beck.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Live and Online in More Ways than One!

While trying to be current on all the social media/blogging platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. I sometimes forget about our other very easy-to-use and accessible online tools, DIGITAL CATALOGS! While I try to avoid being redundant posting listing after listing on Facebook and Twitter, a little shameless office-promotion never hurts!

Our catalog, SunValley Style,
which is designed and printed twice a year,
is also available for viewing online!

Click HERE to be taken to the online winter edition!

There are a few other online magazines where select listings from our office and others can be viewed as well. RESIDE magazine and RESIDE Locale - Mountain Living.

Make sure to check back soon or follow our blog for interesting information about our area!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The finish line!

Come join us at the finish line of the Boulder Mountain Tour, Saturday morning February 5, 2011. Just after 11am the top finishers of the 32k race will be gliding through the finish line, followed by 800 of their closest competitors... including a few from our SVSIR office!

Sue Engelmann and Kirsten Ritzau are among the ladies entered from our office, while Tom Heinrich will be a sponsor and managing one of the Preems. He will be awarding a cash prize to the first male and female at the 15k mark.

Many current elite racers from around the world will be in attendance. 2010 Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong will be racing as well as Olympians Jon Engen, Betsy Youngman, Bryan Fletcher, and Erich Wilbrecht.

See you there!

Our broker, Darlene Young, during the 2009 race.

Join us at the finish line!
photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sun Valley History Ski Buffs and Party Goers!

Join us tomorrow at 4 at the Forest Service Park in Ketchum. If you haven't seen the "new" museum or met the new director, you really must. It is an asset to the community!  Tourism research says that people come to a resort for three reasons:  Facilities, Setting and History.  We have a rich history and many people to honor.

Submitted by Anne Zauner