This month’s Donor Spotlight features Peggy Manchester who is a hero in our hearts for being a key participant at our Adventures Within (AWI) retreats, and for recently arranging a planned gift to BOEC.

AWI is a series of retreats the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) hosts which provide unique physical outdoor experiences in an enjoyable wilderness setting for people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Activities focus on adaptive (recumbent) cycling, flat-water or white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding, high ropes courses, and camping. All specialty equipment, instruction, fun, fellowship, home cooked meals and laughs are included in all of the AWI programs and Peggy sure agrees with this latter statement.

Prior to Peggy’s diagnosis with MS becoming more debilitating, she loved to be extremely physically active, enjoying  hiking, biking, rafting and doing anything outdoors.

“My favorite thing in the world was to hike,” Peggy remembers.

So when she saw an advertisement in the Rocky Mountain MS Center’s newsletter promoting BOEC’s Adventures Within program, she knew immediately that she wanted to participate. She turned to her husband and said, “Take a look at this- do you want to come with me? Or should I go with a friend? Because no matter what I am going!”

Peggy’s husband did in fact tag along to that first camp in 2017 and together they had a wonderful experience. Since then, the two have returned for every summer that the AWI program has been offered. During these camps, Peggy has been able to meet several other participants dealing with the challenges of MS and get back to that outdoor adventure she loves so much.

“We go rafting, do the ropes course challenge, but I ultimately fell in love with the biking!” she exclaims.

Peggy had always enjoyed biking and she and her husband often rode a tandem bike when she was no longer able to ride on her own. When she came to BOEC’s AWI camp, the group went recumbent cycling at the Keystone Adaptive Center which made cycling on her own possible once again.

Peggy shared, “You guys really know what you are doing. You fitted me into an ICE Recumbent Tricycle so I could bike on my own and brought me to the top of a hill. It was so incredible to be so individualized!”

Because of Peggy’s enriching experience at AWI and having BOEC fit her with her first ICE bike, she was able to go home, purchase an upgraded ICE Trike with Pedal Assist (pictured above), and now is able to get out on her own on a regular basis!

She says, “It made such a difference! I would not have known this option was available to me if it were not for the BOEC!”

Peggy makes a big difference to BOEC too. She shares with her MS positivity support group that she is part of how wonderful BOEC is and she could probably fill an entire AWI camp with participants just from that group.

“I just tell people how wonderful it is!” she says.

We are thankful to Peggy for her incredible attitude, for sharing her positive experiences at BOEC’s AWI program with others, and most recently, for making a planned gift to BOEC. A planned gift is any major gift, pledged in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and or estate planning.  Planned gifts can include life insurance, equity, real estate, personal property, or cash.

It is very easy to make a planned gift to BOEC. You can reach out to Development Manager, Hallie Jaeger, to let her know you would like to take next steps to include BOEC in your will. In some cases, we are able to touch base with your estate planning attorney to make everything official, or in other cases you simply tell us and we make a note of your plans in our database.

Planned gifts can be of great benefit to the donor because there are many tax benefits.

If you are interested in learning more about planned giving do not hesitate to reach out to us like Peggy did to simply let us know about her plans.

“I’m a planner,” Peggy says.  “And if you are interested in learning more about the Adventures Within program for person’s living with MS, we would love to speak with you!

Thank you Peggy for putting BOEC into your future plans.  We can’t wait to welcome you back to the next AWI camp!