Shared Adventures Non-Profit

Posted by Ralph | 10:59 AM

"SANTA CRUZ -- Scanning the waters off Cowell Beach on Saturday, Susan Gibbs spotted her 28-year-old daughter Diana floating in a bright yellow tandem kayak, one of her favorite events at Shared Adventures' Day on the Beach.

Shared Adventures, a nonprofit that aims to bring the outdoors to people with special needs, has been putting on the event for 17 years. Diana has taken part nearly every year.

Surfing, kayaking, and scuba diving are all things Diana has gotten to do through the Day on the Beach.

"It's something she looks forward to all year," Gibbs said. "She enjoys the different sensations she experiences in the water and there is great camaraderie here with other people she has grown up with -- whether in special education classes or through events like this. It is the positive, wonderful spirit of the whole thing that really makes a difference in her life

Most recently, Diana took a helicopter ride for Shared Adventures' Day in the Sky event held in April at the Watsonville Airport.

Shared Adventures President Foster Andersen created the event so that people with special needs could avoid the feeling of being in a "state of stuck."

For Andersen, July 17 marks the anniversary of the motorcycle accident that left him in a wheelchair when he was 17. After putting himself through college in New York as a manufacturing engineer, he joined a brand new "sit-ski" program for quadriplegics, and embraced the idea of providing extreme adventures for persons with disabilities."

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