Navy SEAL Don Shipley to Appear at STRIDE Wounded Warrior Snowfest
Contact: Mary Ellen Whitney
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Famous Navy Seal Don Shipley to Speak at STRIDE Wounded Warrior Event
West Sand Lake, NY – Each year, STRIDE selects a new group of Wounded Warriors who have returned from deployment with permanent injuries. For 2020, STRIDE Adaptive Sports and local elected officials will be honoring fourteen Wounded Warriors along with their families on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at the 15th Annual STRIDE Wounded Warrior Snowfest Welcome Dinner from 6:00 pm – 9:15 pm at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn. The majority of the veterans are from our region of New York State with a few traveling from Rhode Island and Texas.
Keynote Speaker Sr. Petty Officer Navy Seal, Don Shipley will give the address, and he is known around the world for exposing fake Navy Seals. Shipley has garnered attention for his work investigating individuals who claim to have served as SEALs or other high-profile military service claims, with a YouTtube channel “Phony Navy SEAL of the Week”. Shipley also runs a non-profit for wounded vets to experience hunting and fishing, and an extreme seal experience camp for civilians.
What makes the STRIDE event unique in comparison to other adaptive organizations who do similar events is that they seek and recruit for new Warriors each year, in lieu of inviting the same veterans back , as many others do.
The event and Warriors will be recognized and supported with proclamations by many elected officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Congressman Paul Tonko; Assemblymembers Jake Ashby, John McDonald, Chris Tague, Mary Beth Walsh; Senator Neil Breslin, Senator Daphne Jordan, , Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, and Mayor Patrick Madden. The $40,000 cost for the weekend has been generously provided by sponsors – Disabled Sports USA, Jiminy Peak, 10th Mountain Division Foundation, AllSquare Wealth Management, American National Insurance, and many regional VFW and American Legion chapters.
Local organizations attending and participating in the dinner ceremony include the Patriot Guard, LaSalle Color Guard, Schenectady Pipe Band and Music will be provided by the Mendelssohn Choir and Army SGT Calvin Patterson, who will sing the National Anthem.
Tickets to the Welcome Ceremony Dinner on Friday, March 2nd at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn are $40 per person, or a reserved table of 10 for $400. Tickets are available at www.stride.org.
The Welcome Dinner is part of a four day weekend where the injured veterans will be honored by the Capital Region community and receive skiing and snowboarding lessons at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. Special adaptive equipment will be used to accommodate the veteran’s injuries under the supervision of trained STRIDE adaptive instructors. The veterans will receive a two-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, and one night stay at Jiminy Peak luxury suites, the recognition dinner, clothing, entertainment, gifts, food, transportation, and lessons for free as a thank you for their service.
“This event is considered a ‘gateway’ to adaptive sports and active lifestyle when entering back into civilian life”, said Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO for STRIDE. “Our message to these veterans is to ‘get back out there”, and afterwards we offer opportunities to stay involved in community by volunteering and mentoring others. Healing comes from giving, so we encourage them to continue at STRDE by helping others. “
The experience is meant to connect new wounded veterans with a local support network of injured veterans who have previously participated in STRIDE programs. There is also the opportunity for the honored veterans to join other year-round programs with STRIDE, including 18 adaptive sport and recreation programs.
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ABOUT STRIDE – Since 1985, STRIDE Adaptive Sports has provided adaptive sport and recreation lessons to children & individuals with special needs and disabled service members (Wounded Warriors) who have sustained permanent injuries as a result of war deployments. STRIDE has over 350 skilled volunteer sport instructors, serves over 2,400 families, and offers free programs in eighteen different sports in 28 locations in New England region. STRIDE is an affiliate member of Disabled Sports USA, Professional Ski Instructors of America, the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, New York Special Olympics, and US Paralympics Sport Club. STRIDE is also an official Red Cross Provider. STRIDE is recognized as one of the leading adaptive sport programs in the Northeastern United States.
For more information or to schedule an interview, call the STRIDE office at (518) 598-1279 or