Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, a nonprofit based at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg Pennsylvania, is a new adaptive sports programs for people with disabilities. This rapidly growing program services disabled veterans in the nearby Baltimore/Washington region, as well as civilians with a wide range of disabilities.
As a ski instructor at Whitetail since opening day in 1991, Bill Dietrich, Two Top's Co-founder and Executive Director, saw the need for this type of program at Whitetail. "We aim for this foundation to be a resource for all disabled people in our region," Dietrich says. "However, Whitetail's proximity to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington and the large number of veterans in our area gives the foundation a natural focus on wounded warriors."
Two Top is a proud chapter of Disabled Sports USA, a nonprofit based in Rockville, Maryland focused on giving those with disabilities an opportunity to gain confidence and dignity through participation in sports. With their help, Two Top developed a Warfighter Sports Program for our Disabled Veterans at Whitetail.
During February of 2007, Whitetail’s Ski School Director, Mac Jackson, asked Bill to become the Director of the Adaptive Program at Whitetail. Bill, inspired by teaching three tracking (skiing on one leg using two hand held outriggers) to an amputee, attended the Adaptive Spring Rally at Killington Resort in Vermont. On his way back from Vermont, Bill visited the Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham in New York, where he realized that he needed to form a non-profit in order to raise money to purchase new equipment to better serve the disabled population.
Over the summer of 2007 Bill began working with Stacey Schmader to found Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, and by the end of August had received non-profit 501(c)3 status from the IRS.
Fundraising began and new adult size outriggers were among the first equipment purchased, as well as a new Bi-Unique bi ski to work with wheel chair bound guests. During our First season (2007/2008), Two Top volunteers taught over forty lessons, and the new equipment enabled us to work with people confined to wheel chairs.
During our second season, Two Top volunteers taught more than ninety lessons. Two Top also became a Chapter of Disabled Sports USA, the largest sports and recreation organization for disabled individuals in the United States. Our association with DSUSA prompted us to start an on-going Warfighter Sports Program for Disabled Veterans. Having a daily program allows us to work with disabled veterans whenever they are able to visit Two Top.
During the summer of 2009 Two Top started summer activities with kayaking and in 2012, began waterskiing.We are proud of our growth, and expansion into year around activities. Each season, our lesson numbers continue to grow, with 2014-2015 ski season teaching 775 lessons.