A non-profit organization creates a ‘family’ while teaching impaired skiers

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:26 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - An annual event that offers various snow-related activities is back! Giving people who usually don’t get a chance to participate in winter sports a sense of freedom, comradery, and empowerment.

The slopes at Terry Peak are perfect for skiing but for some people in our community, this opportunity doesn’t present itself often. The Black Hills Ski for Light wants to change that.

“The visually and physically impaired folks get a chance to get out, get a chance to go skiing, they get a chance to get that same vacation feeling like everybody else that comes up to Deadwood and stuff, so we just have a great time,” said Regional Ski for Light president Ray Bubb.

Some participants look forward to coming back every year.

“It’s important that these folks get a chance to come outdoors for some really ‘vigorous’ outdoor activities and this… In our particular case, black hills ski for light is something that these folks look forward to all year long,” said Black Hills Ski for Light board member Vern Shafer.

For Ski for Light participant Eric Vetter, a day skiing reminds him of years past.

“I’ve been coming to this event for over 15 years, and it allows you to do things you normally don’t get to do. You know, before my accident, I was able to come out here and ski whenever I wanted to. Well, whenever you have a spinal cord injury or any other sort of accident, you are no longer to snap your fingers and be able to do those things,” reminisced Vetter.

While some people look forward to being able to get out and enjoy the winter.

“But when I know I have something to do for those four days of the event, Monday through Thursday. I’m out doing something rather than complaining about the cold, the ice, and the snow; I am out physically doing something, not just sitting there waiting for it to warm up for spring,” said Ski for Light participant Dawn Srstka.

For Srstka, Ski for Light doesn’t just mean being enjoying the slopes.

“The whole thing I call a family reunion ‘cause you meet people, and it’s like a family,” said Srstka.