DaVita Spreads Ripples to Disabled Veterans
DaVita’s continued sponsorship of the 31st annual Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic allowed teammates Javier Martinez, Tara Poysnick, Kyle Smith, and myself—Nick Hobbs—the opportunity to give back to our disabled veterans who have given so much in their service to our country.
The National Disabled Winter Sports Clinic is a world leader in adaptive sports instruction and is hosted by the Grand Junction, Colorado Veterans Affairs Medical Center/Rocky Mountain Network. This year’s event gathered nearly 400 wounded servicemen and servicewomen and more than 200 VA caregivers. Veterans participated in a wide variety of alpine activities including skiing, snowshoeing, sled hockey, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, self-defense (taught by US Secret Service agents) and scuba diving. The veterans in attendance ranged in service dates from WWII all the way up to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This annual event often serves as the starting point in veterans’ pursuit of the US Paralympic games.
SnowMass Village provided a stunning backdrop for the event, which was kicked off with a sponsor recognition dinner. Scott Blackburn, the Under-Secretary of Veterans Affairs, was the keynote speaker. Once the events began Monday morning, DaVita’s volunteer roles kept us lock-in-step with veterans on the slopes (picture of Tara on the slopes), assisting with scuba tank fitting/entering the pool or whatever the sport may be. I was fortunate enough to be tasked with baiting hooks, cleaning fish and grilling our catch on an open grill, ultimately enjoy the catch with some great vets in a beautiful mountain ranch setting. You may have heard the proverb “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” In my case, helping a blind, disabled veteran catch brown trout on the Roaring Fork River not only fed me, but also filled me with gratitude to be part of such a special event.
My 15+ years with DaVita have provided me countless opportunities to serve others, but as a veteran myself, being able to spend time with our servicemen and women in this setting continues to be one of the most humbling and coolest experiences, which I will forever cherish. It means so much to me to be blessed with the opportunity to be living out DaVita’s Mission and Values with our disabled veterans, and forging new bonds with volunteer teammates.
All for One, and One for All!