LAKE PLACID- The Adirondack Foundation’s Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund (UISF) has awarded more than $25,000 in grants to community organizations working to advance equity and access to local sports and recreation. In addition to the eight organizations that received UISF grants this year, four scholarships totaling $4,750 were awarded to aspiring athletes from the Olympic region.
“This fund has always strived to foster and promote lifelong sports and healthy lifestyles for local children,” said Mara Smith of the UISF Grants Committee. “Our winners this year speak to the very heart of why UISF was created. We live in a place rich with opportunities for outdoor recreation, but we sometimes take for granted the barriers that exist for many children and families – barriers like the cost of equipment and the basic knowledge needed to participate safely. safety in certain activities. This committee continues to be encouraged and excited by all the different people and organizations working to create opportunities to increase access and participation in the venues and sports that are such important aspects of our communities.
Organizations and programs that received grants this year include:
● The Adirondack Health Foundation, to provide scholarships for swimming lessons and
drowning prevention for income-eligible students.
● The Adirondack Sports Council’s Mac Pac program, an immersion program for Lake
placid K-8 students attending the World University Games.
● The Lake Placid Community Ski Program, to provide cross-country skiing after school
classes for primary school students.
● Lake Placid Outing Club’s Youth Hiking Program, to introduce children to
backpacking in the Adirondacks.
● The New York Ski Educational Foundation, for the purchase of equipment for its Nordic Junior
● Paul Smith’s College, to increase opportunities for recreation and environmental education
for children and young people from kindergarten to high school.
● Saranac Lake Civic Center to provide free public skating to the community.
● The City of Franklin, to purchase regulation soccer goals for Kate Mountain Park.
In addition to supporting communities, the UISF allocates funds each year to promising young athletes at the national and international level. Olympians such as Tim Burke, Chris Mazdzer, Annelies Cook and Billy Demong have received scholarships over the years.
“Athletes in sports like biathlon, alpine and nordic skiing, and speed skating often don’t receive the same level of financial support as more traditional sports like football, soccer, and hockey,” Smith said. “For young athletes in our region, the economic challenges of advancing to the next level are often as difficult as the physical challenges.
Athletes receiving support this year include:
● Cole VanEtten, alpine skiing
● Bella Wissler, nordic skiing and biathlon
● Andrew Scanio, nordic skiing
● Kaylen Reiley, freeski slopestyle & big air
The UISF was created by the Henry Uihlein II and Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation, Ironman North America (now known as the World Triathlon Corporation), and the Adirondack Foundation, which administers the fund. Since its inception in 2006, the fund has awarded nearly 300 grants totaling more than $536,000.
For more information, contact Andrea Grout at (518) 523-9904 or [email protected]. To learn more about the Adirondack Foundation, visit adirondackfoundation.org.
Top photo: A grant from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund supported the purchase of new equipment for the NYSEF Junior Nordic Program. (Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia) Photo courtesy of Chris Morris.