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Working so vets can play outside

Foundation a national leader

Outdoors for All ensures that veterans like Jesse Palacios have the opportunity to be outside. Photo credit: Outdoors for All

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It's great to be outside!

"The outdoors, a lot of times, is about freedom," Ed Bronsdon, the executive director of Outdoors for All, said in a recent news article.

Founded in 1979 at Snoqualmie Pass in order to teach 15 children with disabilities to ski, the Seattle-based foundation is dedicated to bringing children and adults with disabilities into the outdoors.

"Any time I think I'm having a challenging day," continued Bronsdon, "I think of the challenges our folks are dealing with, and it makes me push on."

The organization is a national leader, and one of the largest nonprofit organizations providing instruction in outdoor recreation for individuals with physical, developmental and sensory disabilities.

Outdoors for All's programming includes skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, day camps, water skiing, rock-climbing, camping and custom events.

"We are a customer-driven organization where each year more than 2,400 children and adults with disabilities exercise their abilities thanks to the training and support of more than 700 volunteers," the organization's website reports.

Approximately 10 percent of all participants are servicemembers and veterans.

For many who partake, the experience has been described as transforming.

"Outdoors for All's programs transform lives through outdoor recreation," wrote Jackie Molzhon, development manager, in an email.

"We've put more focus this year on growing our military programs for wounded and recovering active-duty members and veterans, and our mountain biking program is a good example."

Alicia Johnson totally agrees.

"I would like to say that Outdoors for All has changed my life through its adaptive sports program for veterans," the Army veteran began.

"The ability to participate in their bicycling program has helped me lose weight, gain confidence, and become a better person through this interaction."

Donations to the Combined Federal Campaign, or CFC, help fund what Outdoors for All does.

"One hundred percent of funds from the CFC and other workplace giving programs go to support Outdoors for All's mission," explained Molzhon. "With more support, we can provide more opportunities in the outdoors to children and adults with disabilities, including military veterans."

Outdoors for All's CFC donation number is 92123.

"I want to thank you for your contributions to this organization," continued Johnson, "and hope that you will continue to do so in the future."

For more information about Outdoors for All, visit

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