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Adventures agency opens up the outdoors to the disabled

By Greg Guy AuburnPub.com | Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 12:00 am

It's 50 degrees outside, the sun's shining, the snow's melting, and I have “the bug.” It hits every spring, and it consumes my thoughts until I satisfy it.

My son recently took a couple days off from work, pulled our boat out of storage and proceeded to catch a limit of perch both days. Now I can't wait for the weekend to take my turn at the helm and squash the fishing bug that has me firmly in its grasp. I can almost hear the fillets sizzling in the deep fryer as I write this!

As I've often said, I'm pretty lucky. I have a son who still wants to spend time fishing with the “old man,” and the good health that allows me to do so. I know there are many others, however, who are not so lucky. Fortunately, I've recently come upon an organization dedicated to providing just such opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Advanced Strategies Adventures Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit service agency that “provides physically challenged, elderly and youth outdoor opportunities as well as hunting and fishing via free guided trips including transportation and necessary gear. Some need special apparatus, while others may simply need a helping hand.”

With a grant from the NRA and private donations, Advanced Strategies Adventures was able to construct a trailer hunting blind and several permanent structure blinds that are specifically designed for wheelchair use. In 2009, they received a pontoon boat gifted by the ARISE organization and, as a result, have been able to provide many new and exciting opportunities for individuals who had not previously been able, for various reasons, to experience some of these joys in life that are available to others.

The mission of Advanced Strategies Adventures is quite similar to that of Options for Independence. We all work toward providing expanded opportunities for individuals with disabilities, for the elderly and for others who simply need a helping hand. Our common goal is to eliminate the barriers faced by people who have special needs, provide equal access to all, and make it possible for others to pursue activities and become a part of community life.

Much like Options, Advanced Strategies has added a host of programs over the past few years, and the number of people served has grown proportionally. They have a growing network of diverse, talented and knowledgeable individuals, many of whom volunteer their time on a regular basis, including state-licensed guides and personnel certified in CPR and first aid. A 24-hour Emergency Responders Unit is equipped for any emergency.

I stumbled on this organization while attending a sportsman's show in Syracuse, and immediately thought of Options' consumers who would benefit from their services. You may know of someone in your community who would enjoy just such an outdoor adventure. Check out their Web site at www.advancedstrategiesadventures.org. They will be hosting their sixth annual banquet March 27 in the Empire Room at the NYS Fairgrounds from 3 to 8 p.m., and there will be a host of displays as well as seminars and presentations. Advanced sale tickets are available by calling Lloyd Weigel at 656-9050.

Now, if I can only find that breading recipe for the perch fillets…

Greg Guy is the executive director of Options for Independence

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Article originally published by The Citizen, Auburn, NY.  Permission to reproduce on this website was granted.

 

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