Ed Bronsdon: Outdoors 4 All

Ed BronsonWhenever we receive a talk from Ed Bronsdon, all become reminded of the hope, accomplishments, and joie de vivre imparted by Outdoors for All. Those who would sink into depression and despair are simply not permitted to, once within the purview of this organization. OFA has several facets. This time, it was that of cycling which, if not precisely termed an art form, it is unquestionably a science. Moreover, it takes those who would be out of the mainstream and includes them in the fun and camaraderie.

The cycling program originated from downhill skiing, the nucleus of all that has evolved to date. Anecdotal vignettes included a skier who had lost the use of his legs; children with muscular dystrophy; a blind snowmobiler; a biker with a brain tumor, and several others. Veterans are particularly vulnerable, with PTSD plus or minus physical impairments. They are enabled to relate to the group, socialize, and connect with others. One of the transcendent events is the Seattle-to-Portland bike occurrence. Everyone gets there, no matter by what type of conveyance nor how long it takes. Recumbent trikes are now part of more than 120 in the fleet.

There are 700 volunteers and 18 full time staff. Activities, in addition to skiing and cycling, include kayaking and rock climbing. To date, 2438 have benefited. While much of the activity is in the Puget Sound area, the show often goes on the road to include others.

Observation: We get the impression that Ed and his retinue have not exhausted all the activities to be scheduled nor the apparatuses with which to do them. It will be no surprise to hear of them. Their motto that everyone counts and is important would do well to be part of global weltanschauung.

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