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Wounded Warrior “Feel-Good Friday” 2020


Contact: Mary Ellen Whitney

Tel: (518) 598-1279



For Immediate Release

Photo and press opportunity

STRIDE”s New SHARE Center offers ‘Feel Good Friday’

Make-overs for Regional Wounded Warriors

West Sand Lake, NY – As part of the 15th   Annual Snowfest, 20 regional Wounded Warriors and their families will be treated to a day of pampering and indulgence by local hair and nail salons, massage therapists and even a dog groomer for service dogs in attendance, in preparation for the Wounded Warrior Snowfest Welcome Ceremony on Friday, March 6 at STRIDE’s Headquarter SHARE Center in West Sand Lake.  The group will be served a complimentary hot lunch from Sand Lake’s Mess Hall Diner followed by a concert by Averill Park HS Orchestra.   

The 15th Annual STRIDE Wounded Warrior Snowfest Welcome Dinner from 7:00 pm – 9:15 pm at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn is the kick-off for the weekend. The majority of the20 veterans are from New York State with several traveling from Rhode Island; one from Philadelphia and on from Fort Worth Texas.

The event and Warriors will be recognized and supported with proclamations by many elected officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly member John McDonald and Jake Ashby, Senator Neil Breslin, Congressman Paul Tonko, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin,  and many more.  Keynote address will be delivered by Senior Petty Officer Navy SEAL Donald Shipley, who is renowned for his investigative work at uncovering fake SEALS’s around the country and exposing them for stealing valor and seeing that they get prison time.

Local organizations attending and participating in the dinner ceremony include the Patriot Guard, LaSalle Color Guard, Schenectady Pipe Band, and the Mendelssohn Choir.  Warrior Sgt Calvin Patterson will sing the National Anthem.

Tickets to the Welcome Ceremony Dinner at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn are $40 per person, or a reserved table of 10 for $400. Tickets are available at

The Welcome Dinner is part of a four day weekend where the injured veterans will be honored by the Capital Region community and followed by 2 days on the slopes of  Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.  Special adaptive equipment will be used to accommodate 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.

The $40,000 cost for the weekend has been generously provided by STRIDE event sponsors – Disabled Sports USA/Warfighter Sports, Jiminy Peak, 10th Mountain Division Foundation, AllSquare Wealth Management, American National Insurance,  and many regional VFW and American Legion chapters.


Photo and Press Opportunity

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, 4 states. 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