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Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse is providing financial support to programs and initiatives benefiting people with cognitive or physical disabilities, especially children, through its Inclusive Health and Recreation Awards.

“It can be challenging for individuals with disabilities to be as physically and socially active as they desire,” said Teri Wildt, director of community engagement at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. “In making these funds available, we hope to promote greater engagement of all people in our communities. We want health and well-being to be attainable for everyone.”

A total of 24 proposals, totaling nearly $900,000, were received.

“All the proposals we received were impressive. We wound up selecting 12 proposals that will receive either full or partial funding,” Wildt said. “We are so pleased with the different types of proposals including requests to expand adaptive sports and recreation programs, adaptive equipment, a new pasture to support a riding program, a new low profile launch pier and inclusive playgrounds.”

Awards from Mayo Clinic Health System range from $500 to $70,000, a total of $195,000 awarded. The following organizations have been selected to receive funding:

Aptiv: $5,000 to help give children the opportunity to participate in activities in the community and will help offset transportation costs.

City of La Crosse Park, Recreation & Forestry Department: $25,000 to be used for construction and installation of a low-profile launch pier that will allow people with physical disabilities and the general public to launch a boat, canoe or kayak.

EveryBody Can Dance: $500 to provide two dance parties each year for people of all abilities, including the general public. Donation will be used to help offset the cost of a dance party which provides four hours of music, door prizes and food for those who attend.

HorseSense for Special Riders Inc.: $20,000 to be used to purchase equipment for a new pasture to allow HorseSense to expand their herd of horses and accommodate more clients.

La Crescent Lions Club: $13,000 to be used to build an inclusive playground at Veterans Park in La Crescent, Minn.

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La Crosse Area Family YMCA: $3,300 to used to provide sensory objects, toys, games, floating devices and assistive technology to aid in swimming lessons for adapted swimmers.

La Crosse Public Education Foundation: $28,788 to be used to purchase 12 sport wheelchairs for unified education classes.

North American Squirrel Association of Holmen: $10,000 to be used to purchase an Action Trackchair. These chairs allow people with limited mobility to participate in activities such as hunting, class field trips and community events.

North American Squirrel Association of Holmen: $7,500 to be used toward the purchase of a tandem bike and adaptive snow skiing equipment. Bikes will be available for people to check out through NASA to use for the day. Adaptive snow skiing equipment will allow individuals the opportunity to ski upright.

North American Squirrel Association of Tomah: $70,000 to be used to build an inclusive park with adaptive equipment on the shore of Lake Tomah.

The Parenting Place: $10,000 to be used for Braden’s Library to purchase equipment and supplies for the special needs library at The Parenting Place.

UW-La Crosse and the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity: $2,051.21 to be used to purchase equipment for physical activity programs for youth and adults with disabilities.


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