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Grant supports adaptive water sports program

| July 10, 2020 1:00 AM

DREAM Adaptive Recreation has been awarded a $9,000 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund to support the nonprofit’s Summer Water Sports Program. The grant will be used to help defray the costs of the program, which aims to empower individuals with disabilities through a variety of water sports.

“Weyerhaeuser continues to show their commitment to our community,” DREAM Executive Director Julie Tickle said. “Its annual support allows us to provide inclusive outdoor recreation programs for those living in the Flathead Valley. This partnership allows many families to enjoy lake activities together. For many, this is their only opportunity of the summer. It is our hope that skills learned through our programs, such as gaining confidence and increased independence, will transfer into other areas of the participants’ lives.”

The DREAM Water Sports Program will take place July 14 to 17 at the Thompson family’s private residence on Echo Lake in Bigfork. July 14 to 16 is open to individuals ages 5 to adults and their families, including those with physical, cognitive, intellectual and sensory impairments. July 17 is reserved for military veterans with disabilities and their family members. Activities will include water skiing, wake-boarding, knee-boarding, tubing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, boating and swimming. No previous experience is required as staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide support and instruction. Special care will be taken this year to follow local and state health guidelines.

“The mission of the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund is to improve the quality of life in communities where Weyerhaeuser has a presence,” said Weyerhaeuser Montana resource manager and Giving Fund committee member Tom Ray.

Weyerhaeuser currently operates three mills in Montana — a lumber mill in Kalispell, a plywood mill in Kalispell, and a medium-density fiberboard mill in Columbia Falls. There are currently just under 600 people employed by Weyerhaeuser in the state of Montana.