Anthem Sunrise Ascent Climbs to New Heights at the Mt. Washington Auto Road

The 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington held on August 4th saw 13 athletes with various disabilities reach the summit of Mt. Washington and raised more than $100,000 to support year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities. This major event benefits Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) and New England Disabled Sports (NEDS).

The Anthem Sunrise Ascent challenges athletes with varying degrees and types of disabilities to reach the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, by hiking the Mt. Washington Auto Road. This year, 13 adaptive athletes—each with their own support team—successfully completed the inspiring and arduous journey to the summit. The event drew nearly 300 individuals from all over the New England region and beyond.

“The Anthem Sunrise Ascent raises nearly 1/3 of the annual budget for ASPNC” says ASPNC Executive Director Thomas Shovlin. “None of this would be possible without the support of hundreds of participants, community businesses and donors, and our two top-level sponsors, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Auto Road.” Anthem was the summit sponsor and the Mt. Washington Auto Road delays its opening and provides significant contributions as the host of this event.

In addition to the challenge of reaching the summit, each team competes in a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $6,288 for the height of Mt. Washington. Nearly every team reached this goal. The top fundraising team was led by Sasha Segal of Woodsville, NH. Together, Team Sasha raised over $30,000. Other teams were led by Becca Coulter of Lancaster, NH, Bex Fillmore of South Weymouth, MA, Charlie Walker of Littleton, NH, Chester Eastwood of Conway, NH, Jimbo Bonneau of Rochester, NH, Erik Kondo of Lexington, MA, Greg Durso of Burlington, VT, Jesse Walker of Wolfeboro, NH, Marsha Gray of Waterford, VT, Linda Shurpik of Concord, NH, and Martin Wallem of Epping, NH.

“This event continues to grow every year, and its due to the passion of our volunteers, participants, and donors and sponsors. It goes to show the power of team work and community and does so much to provide life-enriching opportunities for people with disabilities. We are looking forward to an even bigger event, including more athletes next year on August 2, 2020 for our 11th Annual Sunrise Ascent,” says Shovlin. “Thank you to the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington State Park, our summit sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, our halfway house sponsor Bank of New Hampshire, our mile marker sponsors Eversource and Noyle Johnson Insurance, mule team sponsors FLIR, Franconia Gas, Turtle Ridge Foundation, Paramount Electric, and our toll house sponsors Tender Corporation, Walker Motor Sales, Inc., Little City Thrift Store, and Franconia Auto Service Team  — all of whom made this milestone 10th year the best yet.”

“Improving the lives of the people in our communities is our mission at Anthem. That’s why we’re proud to be a supporter of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country and New England Disabled Sports and everything they do to help Granite Staters with disabilities stay active, especially helping them achieve the amazing accomplishment of trekking up Mt. Washington,” said Lisa Guertin, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire.

To learn more about this event and the athletes, or to donate to a team, please visit www.sunriseascent.org. Donations are still being accepted through the month of August. To contact ASPNC, visit www.adaptivesportspartners.org.

Photo courtesy of Kris Dobbins Photography, Easton, NH

 

Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington Climbs Toward Fundraising Goal

Major event seeks to raise money to provide year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities.

Franconia, NH:   The Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington, hosted by Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC), will be held on Sunday, August 4th and is closing in on its fundraising goal to support year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities. This major event, approaching its 10-year anniversary, challenges adaptive participants with varying degrees and types of disabilities to get to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. This year, 13 adaptive athletes will make the journey to the summit with the support of nearly 300 volunteers who turn out to make this event possible.

Before sunrise on August 4th, Sunrise Ascent teams will head up the Mt. Washington Auto Road with their sights set on climbing the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road to the peak at 6,288 feet above sea level. As the Executive Director of ASPNC, Thomas Shovlin, said, “this event truly captures the spirit of adaptive sports and shows what is possible with the right attitude, teamwork, and a whole community behind you.”

The Anthem Sunrise Ascent, supported by its title sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire, seeks to inspire people with this uplifting and positive event. It also seeks to raise funds to support the mission of ASPNC which is to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness. In all, ASPNC serves nearly 200 people with disabilities annually and conducts about 1,700 different programs throughout the year. ASPNC’s seasonal programs include hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, tennis, bowling, yoga, gardening, alpine skiing and snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, basketball, sled hockey, and more.

The Sunrise Ascent not only creates an amazing experience for the athletes and volunteers participating in the event, but its impact reaches far beyond just one day. By raising nearly one-third of ASPNC’s operating budget, this event is crucial to support the programs that ASPNC runs throughout the year. The main way this event raises money is through the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in which each team competes to raise the most money and earn the coveted title and recognition of Top Team.

The event aims to raise $62,880 through the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and also seeks corporate sponsorship. This year’s sponsors include Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire, Bank of New Hampshire, Eversource Foundation, Noyle Johnson Insurance Agency, FLIR Systems, Franconia Gas, Paramount Electric, The Heinze Group, Turtle Ridge Foundation, New Hampshire Electric Co-op, Little City Thrift Store, Tender Corporation, and Walker Motor Sales.

While registration to be a volunteer is closed for this year, ASPNC is asking for your support in helping them reach their fundraising goal. You can help by donating to a specific athlete’s team or by purchasing raffle tickets, which includes two New England Patriots home game tickets. Donations and the purchase of raffle tickets can be made online at www.sunriseascent.org or by calling the ASPNC office at 603.823.5232.

Littleton High School’s Charlie Walker to Make Second Ascent to Raise Funds for ASPNC

Littleton High School student, Charlie Walker, has his sights set on making his second Sunrise Ascent on MtWashington this year on August 4thWhile you may know others who have summited Mt. Washington, Charlie’s ascent of the high peak is a feat unlike any other. Charlie is a survivor. He survived an in-utero stroke and was born with Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy. But he does not let this stop him from enjoying the outdoors and living an adventurous, active life. Blessed with a positive, can-do spirit—along with an infectious smile—Charlie and his family will be hiking the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road on August 4th as part of the 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington, a unique and inspiring event to benefit Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) and its mission to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness. Charlie will be supported to the summit by a team—Team Charlie—that includes family, friends, and community members, all of whom are hiking to raise funds to make sports, recreation, and wellness available to people of all abilities.  

Charlie’s mother, Kellie Walker, shares that “Charlie has amazed us in his 16 years of life; brave, courageous, and always positive. The Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington is an amazing experience that we all get to enjoy together, forming life-long memories. We are so grateful to use this opportunity to raise funds for an amazing organization that does so much for so many people.” 

ASPNC Executive Director Thomas Shovlin, a member of Team Charlie last year, states, “this event truly exemplifies the spirit of ASPNC. The challenging climb demonstrates that anything is possible with a strong support system and teamwork. Being a part of Team Charlie last year was an incredible experience. Charlie’s positivity and excitement fueled our team all the way to the summit.”  

This year is a milestone year for the Sunrise Ascent, celebrating its 10th anniversary. There are 15 adaptive athletes, including Charlie, making summit attempts. Some athletes are assisted by a team of “mules” and others make the ascent unassisted. This event typically raises one-third of the operating budget for ASPNC and ensures the organization can carry out its mission. With support growing every year, ASPNC hopes to continue that trend and raise enough to fund adaptive equipment purchases and fund its plans to continue to grow its reach and impact in our North Country communities. This year’s Sunrise Ascent is sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire, Bank of New Hampshire, Noyle Johnson, FLIR Systems, Franconia Gas, Turtle Ridge Foundation, Tender Corporation, and Walker Motor Sales. 

Mules Wanted for the 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington

Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country Invites Volunteers to Join Milestone Sunrise Ascent

Planning is underway for the 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington to be held August 4, 2019 at the Mt. Washington Auto Road and ASPNC is seeking various types of volunteers.  This unique and inspiring event, sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, raises funds to support Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) and its mission to provide year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness for people with disabilities. Before sunrise, adaptive athletes begin their ascent of the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road with the goal of reaching the summit of Mt. Washington. Each athlete is supported by a team of “mules” who push, pull, and encourage the athlete to the summit. The physical challenge, coupled with the natural beauty of the sun rising over the Presidential Mountain range, creates an exciting and memorable experience for all involved. This year, 15 athletes have accepted the challenge and ASPNC is seeking volunteers to join in this inspirational journey.  There is a role in this event for people of all ability levels.

You can get involved in the Sunrise Ascent and support a great cause in the following ways:

  • Register as a Mule. Mules hike alongside an adaptive athlete, helping as needed to reach the summit.  The goal is to have 20-25 mules per team. Mules must attend one training hike and are asked to raise $355 towards their team goal of $6,288, which is equal to the height of Mt. Washington.  The registration fee for a mule is $62.88. Registration is open until June 17, 2019.
  • Register as a Trail Angel. Trail Angels are volunteers who are unable to make the climb or attend the event. Their role is to assist a specific team with meeting and exceeding their fundraising goal of $6,288. There is a special award for the top fundraising team, so Trail Angels can be a huge help and our athletes love the extra support! Registration is open until June 17, 2019.
  • Register as a Roadrunner. Roadrunners drive their empty cars up the Auto Road to transport teams back down to the Bottom Side Brunch Celebration following the ascent. After a grueling climb, the teams appreciate their Roadrunners greatly! Registration for Roadrunners opens July 1st..
  • Register as a Brunch Volunteer. Bottom Side Brunch volunteers provide support by donating goods for the celebratory brunch after the climb. 
  • Sponsor or Donate to a Team. You can donate to individual teams to help meet their fundraising goal by visiting www.sunriseascent.org. Businesses and individuals are also invited to take advantage of several sponsorship opportunities for this milestone year. Sponsorship information is available on our website, or you can call our office at 603-823-5232 to learn more.

The Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington seeks to raise more than $62,880 to provide year-round sports, recreation, and wellness programs for people of all ages and abilities. Through ASPNC’s mission fulfillment, thousands of participants have been encouraged to maximize their abilities and experience the benefits of physical activity, skill development, and being part of an inclusive community of caring individuals. For additional information, visit www.sunriseascent.org.

The 2019 Sunrise Ascent of Mount Washington Mule Registration is Live

We’re excited to announce the 9th annual Sunrise Ascent on Mount Washington!  Register to join us  as a Mule or Trail Angel on Sunday, August 4th for this inspirational adaptive team journey.  

The goal for this event is to raise over $62,880, to help fund the operating budget of ASPNC. Through our mission fulfillment, hundreds of athletes have been encouraged to maximize their abilities. Your contribution will help enrich the lives of people of all abilities.

#countdowntotheclimb #SunriseAscent

Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington a Success

The conclusion of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country’s (ASPNC) 9th annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington on August 5th held many wonderful moments and milestones for 14 adaptive athletes and their support teams.   

“It was an amazing day full of awesomeness!” says ASPNC Executive Director Sandy Olney. “To date, we have raised over $120,000–the most in the event’s nine-year history.” Olney believes that this was due in great part to several powerhouse fundraising teams and to a new Summit Sponsor, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.   

“The day ended with a wonderful Bottom-side Brunch Celebration toasting all who made the climb and who made the event a grand success on so many levels. It was the perfect recap to a perfect morning,” Olney recalls. 

In the Anthem Sunrise Ascent, teams of volunteer “mules” aided adaptive sports enthusiasts in ASPNC’s version of a “walkathon” on a sunny, clear and temperate day. Each team got pledges and had the task of raising at least $6,288 (the height of Mt. Washington). The teams represented were Barbara Singleton, Brenna Bean, Charlie Walker, Chester Eastwood, David Santamore, Erik Kondo, Jesse Walker, Marie Hennessy, Marsha Gray, Martin Wallem, Sasha Segal, and Suzie Coughlan for ASPNC and Bex Fillmore and Vince Skelton for New England Disabled Sports (NEDS).  

“It was a smashing success and it is all thanks to our volunteers, participants, their teams, the individual donors who pledged to each team, the Mt Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington State Park, summit sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, halfway house sponsor Bank of New Hampshire, and mile marker sponsor Noyle Johnson Insurance — all of whom made the event the best ever,” says Olney.  

All proceeds go directly to enabling ASPNC and NEDS to continue to offer sport and recreational outings, programs and competitive team opportunities to North Country adaptive athletes and their families.  

“We are proud to support these tremendous athletes as part of our continuing efforts to expand opportunities that improve the lives of the people in the communities we serve. The determination exhibited by the Sunrise Ascent athletes and their teams to reach the summit of Mt. Washington is truly inspiring and highlights the important work of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country and New England Disabled Sports,” said Lisa Guertin, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. 

Local Anthem Sunrise Ascent athletes included Marsha Gray of Waterford, Vt. and Sasha Segal of Woodsville, N.H., both making their 4th ascents, and Chester Eastwood of Conway, N.H., who made his 8th ascent. Additionally, Charlie Walker of Littleton, N.H. made his first ascent supported by his family, several of his classmates and teachers from Littleton High School. Together, the 14 athletes were supported by over 200 “mules,” 60 “road runners,” — volunteers who provide the rides from the summit — and over a dozen support and safety team members. 

The Endurance Challenge portion of the event saw three challengers this year, including David Santamore from Barre, Vt. David made his second attempt at an unassisted wheeled ascent in a modified handcycle and arrived at the summit with a big smile in just over eight hours! Erik Kondo from Lexington, Mass. and Brenna Bean from Whatley, Mass. made their own relay team, swapping out as they pushed themselves to their limits and used both handcycles and their own wheelchairs. They ran short on time at the six-mile marker. We hope they will be back to try again next year. 

To learn more about this event, the athletes, and the adaptive sport organizations involved, Adaptive Sports Partners and New England Disabled Sports, or to make a donation, please visit www.SunriseAscent.org. Donations in honor of the Sunrise Ascent athletes and their designated programs are still being accepted through the month of August. To contact ASPNC, go to www.adaptivesportspartners.org. Photos courtesy of White Mountain Images.

Final days to register as a roadrunner

Roadrunners drive their empty cars up the auto road to transport Mules back down the Mount Washington Auto Road after their team has accomplished its physical goal of summitting Mount Washington, New England’s highest peak!  Click here to read the Mount Washington Auto Road Vehicle restriction policy.  All roadrunners must adhere to this policy – NO EXCEPTIONS!  T-shirts no longer available for purchase as of July 13, 2018.  Go to http://www.adaptivesportspartners.org/sunriseascent/registration/ to register today – Deadline for registration is July 23, 2018.

The 2018 Sunrise Ascent of Mount Washington

We’re excited to announce the 9th annual Sunrise Ascent on Mount Washington! Register to join us on Sunday, August 5th for this inspirational adaptive team journey.  

The goal for this event is to raise over $62,880, to help fund the operating budget of ASPNC. Through our mission fulfillment, hundreds of athletes have been encouraged to maximize their abilities. Your contribution will help enrich the lives of people of all abilities.

#countdowntotheclimb

Recruiting Adaptive Athletes to participate in the climb through April 15th.

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