Tears of joy are fairly common all around at BOEC. From participants feeling the freedom of outdoor recreation to our staff, volunteers, and donors who witness these events and learn about BOEC’s inspirational stories. As you are well aware by now, it’s the development team’s goal to understand the reason behind every contribution to BOEC. We are gathering stories, upon stories on why people feel connected to the BOEC, but this story from Mary and Dave Durham, in particular, pulled on our heartstrings. Mary and Dave have been BOEC donors for nearly a decade and their words encapsulate why they are this month’s choice for our donor spotlight:

“BOEC holds a special place in our lives and our hearts which I’ll tell you about in a moment but first, here is a little bit about us. Mary and I both enjoyed the outdoors and especially skiing. I’m very familiar with Colorado having graduated from Western Colorado University in Gunnison back in 1976 when it was called Western State College. I have to be honest, I may have spent more time at Crested Butte than at School during ski season!! Somehow I was able to graduate with the grace of God! Mary also loved to ski, in fact she and I met on a Kansas City ski club trip to Winter Park.  We started dating and Mary shared with me that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) a few years earlier. It was almost impossible to tell when we were married in 1986. Mary worked as a nurse at the Kansas City VA Hospital and just loved it. It wasn’t work to her, it was simply extending a helping hand to our veterans whom she loved. Unfortunately, she had to retire due to the MS around 1993. At this point she could barely walk a few feet using canes with both arms and had to use a motorized scooter to get around. It was so tough to watch BUT, she was determined to not let MS beat her!!”

And just a few short years later Mary and Dave found the BOEC.

“We came out to Breck in the Early Fall (1995) to see the Aspen turn color, enjoy the town, the people, and the beautiful weather. While there, we came across BOEC and inquired about the adaptive skiing program. It was the BEST part of our trip!!! When we returned home we decided to plan a return trip to Breck and set up a couple of half days with BOEC for Mary to go sit skiing. WOW, the JOY and the SMILE on Mary’s face was incredible and it brought me to tears. She told me later that it made her feel so FREE of her MS and was so much fun that she wanted to come back again!! I came to tears right in front of her and hugged her because for a moment I saw the beautiful smile from a beautiful person who I loved truly BE FREE of the MS!! IT’S THE ONLY TIME I’VE SEEN MARY FEEL FREE OF MS!!!!!! We came back for another trip and skiing for Mary with BOEC a couple of years later with another great experience.

God Bless BOEC for all you do all year long … especially with the Kids!!! We will continue to support you as best as we can!”

Dave and Mary, thank you so much for your courage and continued support of BOEC.

For more information on various ways to support the BOEC, please visit our Support BOEC page.