In search of skiers

Horizons seeking volunteers

— Horizons is looking for a few good skiers who are willing to spend several Saturdays through the winter skiing with its clients. A volunteer training session will take place Friday through Sunday.

"For the training, we teach people to ski with the mentally and physically disabled," Horizons Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Hanson said.

For the last 27 years, Horizons has organized the Ski and Snowboard Club. This year, the club will spend seven Saturdays in February and March on the mountain. This year, 34 Horizons clients have signed up to participate.

The volunteers will ski with the clients all day. In some cases, they could be one-on-one with clients; in other cases, one person may need help from several volunteers.

"People need to be intermediate to advanced skiers and need to be comfortable working with people with disabilities," Hanson said. "Most of the clients know how to ski and get better each year."

Volunteers who ski are preferable over snowboarders, just because people on skis are more agile, she said.

A training session will be provided for the volunteers this weekend, starting Friday night and running through Sunday. At the session, they may learn to guide a blind skier or ski with someone who uses a bi-ski. They also will get a chance to meet the clients on Saturday.

The first day of skiing is Feb. 1. People who volunteer for at least three Saturdays will get a get a day pass they can use anytime, Hanson said.

Horizons already has 64 people signed up to volunteer, which is the most the agency has ever had for its Ski and Snowboard Club. The increase of volunteers has allowed the group to include eight high school clients who were on a waiting list to get in the Ski and Snowboard Club.

Officials would like to get five or six more volunteers to sign up for training.

"It's really a pretty rewarding program. It's really fun," Hanson said.

For more information call 879-4466, extension 116.

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