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Uihlein-Ironman passes out sports grants

October 31, 2018
Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund, a component fund of Adirondack Foundation, awarded $41,650 in grants this year to 17 athletes and nine organizations in the Tri-Lakes region.

The awards were handed out at a ceremony for recipients and their families and friends on Oct. 14 at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid.

Brothers Beckett and Van Ledger accepted their awards in person, joined by parents and extended family. Funding will help Beckett with travel expenses as he competes in Nordic combined (ski jumping and Nordic skiing) for the U.S. Junior National Team with the goal of earning enough points this season to qualify for the Senior World Championships. Van will use his funding to travel to Utah for the Youth and Junior World Competition Trials in biathlon, with hopes of traveling to Slovakia to compete internationally.

Article Photos

Athletes and their families, coaches and representatives from organizations that promote youth sports gather on Oct. 14 for a grant award ceremony at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid. The Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund, a component fund of Adirondack Foundation, awarded grants to 17 athletes and nine organizations.
(Provided photo — Adirondack Foundation)

Coach Bill Peer and four current players accepted their award on behalf of the recently merged Saranac Lake and Lake Placid varsity girls hockey team. Funding will help build an identity for the combined team.

"Without this support, I would not be where I am today," said Esther Munoz via a video she recorded for the ceremony from the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City. Munoz made the Junior World Speedskating Team in 2016 and is gearing up for World Cup trials this year.

"This sports fund really changes people's lives in the best of ways. Last winter when I qualified for the U18 [under 18] Scandinavian trip, it was incredible and will drive me this winter to again try to race overseas," said Nordic skier Scott Schulz, in an email sent from Sun Valley, Idaho, where he is training. His brother, Karl, also received funding to support Nordic ski competition while studying at University of Vermont.

"This money goes a long way in Tupper Lake," said Patti Littlefield, town Supervisor, who accepted the award on behalf of the Tupper Lake Youth Nordic Ski Development Club, which has nearly tripled in number of participants since its beginnings in 2008.

The complete list of individual grant recipients and their respective sport is as follows:

Marli Damp, Nordic skiing

Cecily Decker, Alpine skiing

Kai Frantz, Nordic skiing

Brian Gardiner, freestyle skiing

Tara Geraghty-Moats, Nordic combined

Lucy Hochschartner, Nordic skiing

Sean Hollander, luge

Beckett Ledger, Nordic combined

Van Ledger, biathlon

Nina Lussi, ski jumping

Henry McGrew, Nordic skiing

Esther Munoz, speedskating

Karl Schulz, Nordic skiing

Scott Schulz, Nordic skiing

Duncan Segger, luge

Michael Skutt, Nordic skiing

Sydney-Yu Terpening, speedskating

Community organizations receiving support this year include:

Dewey Mountain Friends -Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation, Inc., to purchase mountain bikes for youth programs

Lake Placid Outing Club, to support Epic Trip Program funding

Lake Placid Youth Athletic Association, to help create a unified team identity for joint Lake Placid and Saranac Lake youth hockey

Paul Smith's College VIC, to help purchase winter sports equipment

Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey Association, to support free Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs

Saranac Lake Placid Girls Varsity Hockey, to help promote the merged identity for high school athletes from Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid

Tupper Lake Central School District, to offset expenses for the Middle and High School Downhill Ski Club

Tupper Lake Youth Nordic Ski Development Club, to help with transportation, equipment and instruction

"Henry Uihlein's legacy is one of supporting athletes and athletic organizations from the greater Lake Placid area," said John D. Leekley, Jr., chairman of the Uihlein Foundation. "We're proud to continue that legacy to this day, as his generosity continues supporting current and future Olympians."

"Community support to involve youth in sports is simply part of the DNA of this area. These local athletes are driven by ambitious goals and a source of inspiration for all of us at Ironman," said Greg Borzilleri, Ironman Lake Placid race director.

"Adirondack Foundation is proud to leverage the generosity of the Uihlein and Ironman foundations to help young local athletes thrive," said Cali Brooks, President and CEO, Adirondack Foundation. "Congratulations to all."



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