It doesn’t seem like very long ago that we were talking up the 25th anniversary of Adaptive Spirit—and, in fact, it wasn’t long ago at all. But everything has changed since then, and Adaptive Spirit has gone the way of every other gathering of more than 10 people.
Given that this annual fundraiser accounts for nearly 40 percent of the US Paralympic Ski & Snowboard Team’s operating budget, cancellation might have been a devastating blow for a couple dozen athletes who are preparing to compete less than two years from now at the Winter Games in Beijing. But they don’t call it Adaptive Spirit for nothing. Faced with a sudden and unexpected challenge just a couple weeks before opening night, the organizers reshaped everything on the fly and developed workarounds to keep the mission afloat.
“We’ll still be able to make a substantial contribution to the Para Ski & Snowboard Team this year,” says co-founder Steve Raymond. “Many of our sponsors are still planning to honor their 2020 commitments; they’ve really stepped up. They know we’re still going to be around next year. And we’ve kept some powder dry in case we ever had a bad year, although obviously we didn’t predict anything like this.”
One part of Adaptive Spirit, the Silent Auction, has gotten bigger rather than smaller. Bidding began this week and will continue for another two weeks, closing on April 3. You can get in on the action digitally—just download the app, create an account and start plunking down offers. Opening bids start as low as $10 and scale up into four-figure territory. We probably shouldn’t be calling attention to this in the midst of a competitive auction, but personally we like the Bose microspeaker, the assortment of beanies and the Billy Joel concert tix at Madison Square Garden. Anyway, there’s a ton of other stuff to choose from. Browse around and see what you like.
(Those MSG concert tix are good through the end of 2021, BTW. Call me a crazy optimist, but I’m gonna bet that it’s safe to fill an arena by then.)
As for commemorating a quarter-century of Adaptive Spirit, Raymond says: “Our 25th anniversary giving campaign will stay open, and we’ll just wrap it up next year. And that’s when we’ll celebrate.”