LAKE PLACID – The Adirondack Foundation’s Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund (UISF) has awarded over $25,000 in grants to community organizations working to promote equity and access to local sports and recreation. In addition to the eight organizations that received UISF grants this year, four grants totaling $4,750 were awarded to aspiring athletes from the Olympic region.
“This fund has always strived to encourage and promote lifelong sport and a healthy lifestyle for local children,” said Mara Smith of the UISF grants committee. “Our recipients this year speak to the heart of the reasons why the UISF was formed. We live in a place where there are many opportunities for outdoor recreation, but sometimes we take for granted the barriers that many children and families face – barriers such as the cost of the equipment and the basic knowledge that is required to safely participate in certain activities. This committee continues to be encouraged and excited by all of the diverse individuals and organizations working to create opportunities for increased access and participation in places and sports that are such important aspects of our communities.”
Organizations and programs that received grants this year include:
● The Adirondack Health Foundation, to provide scholarships for swimming lessons and
Drowning Prevention for Income Eligible Students.
● The Adirondack Sports Council’s Mac Pac program, an immersion program for Lake
Calm K-8 students competing in the World University Games.
● The Lake Placid Community Ski Program to offer after-school cross-country skiing
Lessons for elementary school students.
● Lake Placid Outing Club’s youth backpacking program to meet local children
Backpacking in the Adirondacks.
● The New York Ski Educational Foundation buys equipment for their Nordic Junior
● Paul Smith’s College to improve recreational and environmental education opportunities
for children and young people from kindergarten to high school.
● The Saranac Lake Civic Center to offer free public ice skating to the community.
● The City of Franklin is purchasing mandatory soccer goals for Kate Mountain Park.
In addition to supporting communities, the UISF provides annual funding for young athletes with national and international success. Olympians such as Tim Burke, Chris Mazdzer, Annelies Cook and Billy Demong have received scholarships over the years.
“Athletes in sports like biathlon, alpine and Nordic skiing and speed skating often don’t get the same level of financial support as more traditional sports like soccer, football and hockey,” Smith said. “For young athletes from our region, the economic challenges to reach the next level are often just as difficult as the physical ones.”
Athletes receiving support this year include:
● Cole VanEtten, alpine skiing
● Bella Wissler, Nordic skiing and biathlon
● Andrew Scanio, cross country
● Kaylen Reiley, Freeski Slopestyle & Big Air
The UISF was established by the Henry Uihlein II and Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation, Ironman North America (now known as World Triathlon Corporation), and the Adirondack Foundation, which administers the fund. Since its inception in 2006, the fund has awarded nearly 300 grants totaling over $536,000.
To learn more, contact Andrea Grout at (518) 523-9904 or [email protected] To learn more about the Adirondack Foundation, visit adirondackfoundation.org.
Photo above: A grant from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund supported the purchase of new equipment for NYSEF’s Nordic Junior Program. (Credit: Nancie Battaglia) Photo provided by Chris Morris.