February 8, 2006
Breckenridge, CO - (News Release) - Months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf coast, thousands of displaced citizens are still trying to salvage their day to day life. However, thirty adolescents residing in a temporary Mobile Home Residential Park established by FEMA in Baton Rouge (Baker, LA), will have the opportunity to visit Denver, Boulder, and Breckenridge, Colorado and enjoy 5 days of enriching opportunities and personal growth while their families get their lives back on track. The group, selected by the established advisory committee, parents, and FEMA/Government officials, will visit Colorado February 15-19, 2006 and spend three days at Breckenridge Ski Resort learning to ski.
Several Colorado-based philanthropists, Sandstone Ventures, LLC, & former University of Colorado Buffalo players and coaches teamed up with a local medical non-profit to offer this opportunity to the Louisiana youth. Through a unique partnership with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), Breckenridge Ski Resort and the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), hundreds of Gulf Coast youths whose lives are in turmoil will be provided with a positive experience that will last a lifetime in the wake of this recent disappointment.
The primary goal of the partnership is to offer three to four outdoor experiential learning programs/trips to Colorado, to approximately 30 youth each trip. Encouraged by the challenge of skiing, participants confront fears and obstacles and with determination, setting forth on a positive a positive course for the future. Other goals include using the pristine setting of Colorado to offer each youth an opportunity to learn infinite amounts about self and interrelationships and to build the potential for working within a community toward personal growth once they return home.
MCPN is a nonprofit organization that has provided medical, dental and community-based services to the medically underserved since 1989. For 30 years, the BOEC has been providing outdoor experiential learning through the Adaptive Ski and Wilderness Programs to people with and without disabilities. Last year the organization served persons from 40 states and six countries. Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) continues to be a lifeline to thousands of children and families; support of food, clothing, lodging and additional funding are still needed. In addition to the above-mention partnership The Jefferson Center for Mental Health (JCMH) provided the mental health response to the Columbine community following the tragedy in 1999. Because of their experience and expertise in helping youth and families impacted by trauma they understand the mental health needs of the youth impacted by the Katrina disaster and have proudly partnered with MCPN with this project.