Ski and snowboard race honors Wiltonian

Jose Morales skis at Windham Mountain thanks to the Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Jose Morales skis at Windham Mountain thanks to the Adaptive Sports Foundation.

The 19th annual Michael J. Gray Memorial Ski & Snowboard Race is Saturday, March 2, in Windham, N.Y. The race is an opportunity for all types of skiers and snowboarders to spend a day of fun at Windham Mountain and to support the Adaptive Sports Foundation.

Michael J. Gray, Jr., of Wilton, was a snowboard instructor with the Windham Mountain Snow Sports School when he was tragically killed in a car accident. To honor his memory and dedication to snow sports, the Gray family started a memorial race in Michael’s honor. The proceeds from the race are donated to the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), an organization that offers a disabled person the ability to enjoy the sport of skiing/snowboarding. The day includes a discounted lift ticket, a fun race, and an après ski and awards party. All proceeds benefit the Adaptive Sports Foundation.

The Gray Family is once again hosting the Morales Family of Trumbull. Jose, a father of three was injured in a ladder accident in the summer of 2013. Left paralyzed from the waist down, Jose is in his third season out on the slopes of Windham Mountain on a mono ski. Michael’s brother, Kevin, an adaptive volunteer, will be instructing Jose again on race day. The family reports that Jose will be competing in the Hartman Race for ASF.

Since 1984, the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) has been a nonprofit organization that has provided skiing and snowboarding, as well as summer sports, lessons to people with disabilities at Windham Mountain in Windham, N.Y. It serves more than  1,500 individuals annually and has more than 170 volunteer instructors on its roster.

Because of funds raised through the Michael Gray Memorial Race, the Adaptive Sports Foundation has been able to assist those men and women of the armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world. Again this year, ASF sponsored an all-expense-paid weekend for more than 100 veterans and family members.