The basics: Randy Coffman, who turns 63 on Jan. 8, is the patrol director at China Peak Mountain Resort and founder of the Central California Adaptive Sports Center. He, his wife Lisa and their dog Packer live in Shaver Lake.
What he does: Aside from ensuring the safety of skiers and snowboarders at China Peak, Coffman works around the clock to arrange mountaineering programs for disabled persons through the Central California Adaptive Sports Center. Whether it’s camping on the mountain in the summer or carving the slopes in the winter, the CCSAC allows anyone with a disability enjoy the outdoors and have fun with their family.
Why he does it: “It’s about helping people who feel they’ve lost the ability to do many of the things they used to do,” Coffman says. “Once they find out they can ski down a mountain or bike down a trail, it puts into perspective the things they can’t do at home. It provides the opportunity to recapture whatever they used to do and able to do it with their family again.”
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The turning point: After retiring from the National Park Service where he worked for 31 years, Coffman and his wife Lisa bought a home in Crested Butte, Colo. It was there that Coffman began volunteering with adaptive sports programs and got hooked. “I challenge anyone and it’s kind of hard to not get captured by the whole experience,” he says. Last winter, China Peak owner Tim Cohee approached Coffman about starting a local program and the CCASC was founded Dec. 15, 2013.
Details, details: With full support from Cohee and mountain manager Paul Gray, Coffman provides year-round adaptive recreation and mountain adventures. This summer, the CCASC hosted a camping program for the Valley Center for the Blind and also began a partnership with Jennifer Crocker at Valley Children’s Hospital to buy specialized equipment, including adaptive sit skis and hand-crank mountain bikes. The organization is working on outreach efforts with veterans organizations and recently receieved a donated office from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. that’s set up at China Peak.
What others say: Kristal Tumey of the Family Assistance Center at the California National Guard says, “In California we don’t have these programs everywhere and it’s amazing that this is in our own backyard. Veterans no longer have to go to Utah or Colorado for adaptive recreation.”
How you can help: To donate to CCASC, go to www.centralcaladaptive.org/support or send a check to CCASC, PO Box 147, Shaver Lake CA 93664. You can also help buy specialized equipment by viewing their wish list on the website. For more information on donating and volunteering, contact the CCASC at (559) 593-2504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Angel Moreno