This inspired the sharing of stories about how BOEC exists to expand access to the outdoors, despite an individual’s special need or disability. Our staff is trained to meet our participants where they are at, essentially adapting to meet their needs so that the wilderness can be enjoyed by all. That is the magic of BOEC.
This led to a heartwarming connection shared about Amber Rangel, featured in this month’s newsletter, an active outdoorswoman who also has a C5 quadriplegic injury due to a water skiing accident in her early twenties. We spoke of Amber’s courage on the river, and a heavy feeling ascended over Kevin while peering over the paddles and imagining the endless possibilities hanging throughout the garage.
At this point, Kevin shared that his uncle, Robert Ayers, a man he looked up to his entire life, was an avid outdoorsman and endured a dive into a creek at 30 years old, which left him a quadriplegic. Robert’s injury, however, did not prevent him from being an active member of society, a dedicated family man, or keep him from his love of fishing. This attitude over circumstance mentality that Kevin’s uncle Robert adopted is the very soul of the BOEC.
This is why Donna and Kevin are excited to announce the launch of the Robert Ayers Fund benefiting the BOEC. This fund commences a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to bring more awareness to the Gardner’s network about how BOEC changes lives. Whether teaching someone how to mono-ski post injury or accident or helping children with cognitive differences meet new heights, donations to the Robert Ayers Fund will support BOEC programs dedicated to serving participants with quadriplegia, paraplegia, or any cognitive disabilities. It’s a tribute to the Gardners that they believe so strongly in the BOEC mission that they are willing to share this belief with their friends and ask for support.
We thank you, Donna and Kevin, for showing up with your corporate partnership, event support, set up of the Robert Ayers Fund, and connecting us to your network! We’re grateful for your generosity and we’re eager to share the impact you are making for years to come.