Jerrod Dobkin ’15 first heard of Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation from his government professor, Janet Martin. She mentioned in class that the nonprofit, which had taught her how to ski, was holding its annual fundraiser. Dobkin, a lifelong skier and a member of the Bowdoin alpine team, decided he’d pitch in.
Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, headed by Peter Adams ’75, offers recreational sports to adults and children with disabilities. It relies on its annual Ski-A-Thon fundraiser to be able to provide free ski lessons and other athletic opportunities throughout the year to between 400 and 500 students.
Dobkin said he wholeheartedly believes in the mission of opening the sport of skiing to anyone who wants to try. “I think it’s awesome to let other people get joy out of this,” he said.
Dobkin put together a team of five students who traveled to the annual Maine Adaptive Ski-A-Thon at Sunday River ski resort in Newry last Saturday. His team raised $1,315 for the charity. Martin contributed $500 for her Gould Academy team. All together, the 29th annual Ski-A-Thon raised $328,623 for Maine Adaptive Recreation and Sports.
Adams, Maine Adaptive’s executive director, said having a Bowdoin team on the slopes was particularly meaningful to him. “I was so proud of my alma mater,” he noted. He was also impressed by the students’ sense of responsibility, as they made sure to return to campus at a reasonable time to study. “They managed to squeeze in [the Ski-A-Thon and the fundraising] and we really appreciate that.”
On her Ski-A-Thon fundraising page, Martin writes about her gratitude for Maine Adaptive Sports. “It is the most amazing program, with instructors who volunteer their time and knowledge to both make it possible for me to ski with generalized dystonia and a mitochondrial myopathy, and to improve at skiing each year,” she said. “It is the only physical activity where I can find improvement, in large part because the volunteers understand that ‘adaptive’ means finding what works for each participant.”
Next year, Dobkin said he would like to set up a volunteer student organization to send Bowdoin skiers to the slopes on the weekends to help give Maine Adaptive ski lessons.