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Ski For Light: Changing Lives For 30 Years

January 28, 2009, 6:05 PM by Karla Ramaekers

Ski For Light: Changing Lives For 30 Years

It's a unique experience; teaching those who are blind or have other disabilities how to ski.  Ski For Light in South Dakota has done that for 30 years. 


Carving down a mountain can be intimidating for just about anyone, but these skiiers are used to a challenge.  Over the past three decades, Ski for Light has helped change hundreds of lives by teaching people with disabilities how to ski. 

"Those first couple of years, we had a dozen people and now we this year have 130 participants," Program Co-Founder Dallas Dietrich said. 

Dietrich has had some changes of his own. After twenty years of helping others learn how to navigate these slopes, a car accident put him in a wheelchair, giving him a whole new perspective on his job. 

"It made me even more determined to make this thing work," Dietrich said.

That determination has made the program even more successful, convincing other participants that anything is possible.

"There's something about learning to do something new, something physical and something as exciting as skiing that fills a guy with confidence," participant Bradley Morgan said.

Morgan says that feeling carries on well after the week in the Black Hills is over. 

"A line has been crossed, they're not reliant on their help and their guides. They're doing things for themselves and that's the most beautiful moment," Morgan said.

Proving with each completed run that their disabilities don't define them.

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