Tom SchroederTom Schroeder was named DSES Volunteer of the Year for 2014/2015. He’s been an active and effective volunteer since 2008, logging a remarkable total of more than 1500 winter and summer hours since then.

“My motivation to join DSES was driven by my intent to leave the Silicon Valley hi-tech world in 2010.  I wanted to find my ‘next career’ and focus on outdoor activities (hopefully in Mammoth Lakes) and giving back to people.  DSES seemed to be a logical fit”, Tom recalls.

As planned, Tom left the hi-tech world in April 2010, after years of commuting to Mammoth for holidays and weekends from the Bay Area.  Since then, he and his wife Hilary,  who also has earned numerous DSES awards for her volunteer efforts, have lived primarily in Mammoth Lakes.

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Look what’s new at the National Wounded Warrior Center!

KC Tour NWWC Site VisitWe are moving forward, full steam ahead with our plans for the National Wounded Warrior Center! Kathy and the team are busy seeking dedicated patrons to sponsor a bedroom, dedicate a wing, offer in-kind services or provide naming rights, so that we can offer Wounded Warriors what they need to LEARN a new vocation, HEAL physical and psychological wounds, and THRIVE in their new life! We are proud to introduce our new Director of Communications and Advisory Board!

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T.S. Jones runs Semper Fi Odyssey Wounded Warrior Event in Boswell, PA

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After our Wounded Warrior Operation Mountain Freedom event I followed Retired LT. Gen T.S. Jones (affectionately known as Tough Shit!) back to his turf in Boswell, PA for his own Wounded Warrior event Semper Fi Odyssey.

This transformational camp implemented a tried and tested regime, developed by T.S. himself, to help get the 35 attending Wounded Warriors back on track. Everything was choreographed with precision and meaning and not a moment was wasted as the entire program is designed to help the Wounded Warrior become accountable for their next phase in life in order to transition back to a civilian lifestyle with purpose and direction.  Continue reading

Fox News Brings World Wide Attention to National Wounded Warrior Center

fox newsThe momentum for the National Wounded Warrior Center has really started to pick up thanks to Trace Gallagher and Fox News! We are so thankful for the massive engagement we’ve seen across social media and from around the world!

Mammoth Lakes, California is a small town with a large reach, and it just so happens that Trace grew up in Mammoth Lakes and learned to ski at Mammoth Mountain. So when Kathy Copeland, Executive Director of Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES), reached out to him about the National Wounded Warrior Center, he immediately jumped on board!

The conversation began five months ago and Trace quickly gained approval from the Fox Network, scheduling a producer and cameraman to join DSES for the annual Wounded Warrior event: Operation Mountain Freedom!

10451023_802019769835249_3585393653495067481_nThey spent the morning of January 29 interviewing Kathy and our Wounded Warriors, skiing with them out on the hill and capturing the terrific Arch of Honor tradition that salutes all our servicemen and women for the sacrifice they’ve made for all of us!

When the coverage aired (see video below) on The Kelly File the next night, Kathy and her team were jumping up and down with excitement. We have been overwhelmed by the love and support that has come pouring in from around the country and as far away as Mexico, the Philippines, and Japan!

We’ve received over $60,000 in donations in less than a week and thank you to each and everyone who has so generously supported our efforts to provide a place for our Wounded Warriors to LEARN, HEAL and THRIVE!

But with a budget of $23 million, there is a long way to go! The National Wounded Warrior Center is still looking for dedicated patrons to sponsor a bedroom, dedicate a wing, and naming rights for the National Wounded Warrior Center are still up for grabs! Monthly donations are accepted through the donate button on the webpage or contact the office to establish a legacy through planned giving.

Watch the latest coverage about the National Wounded Warrior Center from Fox News!​

Let’s keep the ball rolling and thank you to everyone for your kind words of support and donations. What a great country we live in and our Wounded Warriors will benefit from your efforts!

We and your Wounded Warriors appreciate each and every donation no matter the size.

Please stay connected

Kathy Copeland ©2015
Executive Director
National Wounded Warrior Center
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Phone: 760.934.0791
Email: kcopeland@disabledsportseasternsierra.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalWoundedWarriorCenter
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/copelandkathy
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gonwwcmammoth

Wounded Warrior Center, Mammoth Lakes, CA Receives $250,000 Donation!

b16d5903-6170-4234-b735-d2ebd6c1f563The National Wounded Warrior Center (NWWC), Mammoth Lakes, California is proud to announce it’s first major contribution of $250,000 from The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation!

The Scripps have owned a second home in Mammoth Lakes since 2002 and were looking for more ways to give in the area ever since.

“Kathy and I feel strongly about supporting the communities which we benefit from. We enjoy the Mammoth area in the winter and summer time and we wanted to give something back,” Bill (William) said. Continue reading

Locals Carve Out Holiday Cheer For Wounded Warriors

Carters-KC-Laurel-NWWCSanta might have given his reindeer the rest of the year off by the time Bob and Mary Carter made their way up to Mammoth Lakes from Bishop on Christmas Day, but those two little helpers, had one last Christmas gift to deliver. On Dec. 25, Carters made their way up to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to make a donation to Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra’s newest endeavor, the National Wounded Warrior Center.

The Carters dropped off a check for $1,700 from the sales of special hand-carved reindeer. Bob and Mary carved several dozen of the wooden pieces from birch, and fashioned them in different sizes. All told, holiday shoppers snapped up all several dozen of the pieces as a great gift idea, a unique addition to their home holiday motifs or simply a way to support the NWWC effort.


The National Wounded Warrior Center facility will empower wounded, ill and injured servicemen and women by facilitating their transition into fulfilling civilian lives through a mix of education, rehabilitation, and health and wellness programs.


“We are thrilled to get this support,” Kathy Copeland said. “Unsolicited donations are like manna from heaven! It’s great to know there are these special people out there in the world!”

Join Our “Reindeer List for Christmas 2015” and we will send you a reminder closer to the time.

Join Our Reindeer List

A Party With A Purpose – National Wounded Warrior Center

photo 1What better way to ring in the New Year than raising money for such a wonderful cause?

Myself [Kathy Copeland] and Angela Evans traveled from Mammoth Lakes to Ventura County joining Dr. Jeffery Nordella and friends for a Casino Royale New Year’s Eve fundraiser for The National Wounded Warrior Center. It was an extraordinary event in a fabulously decorated room that was well attended!

Approximately 350 people turned out for the black tie event at the West Lake Village Hyatt in Southern California for a night of gambling and dancing. And the party raised over $11,000 that Dr. Nordella graciously donated to the National Wounded Warrior Center in honor of our nation’s heroes.

Dr. Nordella“There’s a gap in the level of care the Wounded Warriors need and the level of care they are receiving. That’s why I have to applaud people like Kathy Copeland” Dr. Nordella explained. Nordella knows first hand the importance of quality care for our veterans. In 2005, an ex-Air Force Captain broke into his home in Ventura County, killing Nordella’s wife and later committing suicide.

“I’m angry at the system for discharging him from the system and not getting him the care he needs or at least identifying it,” he said.

Dr. Nordella amazes me. Given his family’s experience, he still hosted this event for the veterans, which just made everything so special.

“We have to step in where the government is not. These are people who have served us and taken care of us and it’s time to take care of them. The government isn’t doing it, but people like Kathy are. She’s privatizing this system to do the right thing for the people,” adds Dr. Nordella.

Nordella first heard of The National Wounded Warrior Center through friends of his daughter— Ken and Jenn Roberts. Ken Roberts is a reserve officer for the National Guard and a Firefighter for Ventura County. Ken and Jenn have become an integral part of Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra’s week-long Wounded Warrior programs.

“I was looking for a charity to have the party and donate to,” Nordella said. “As I looked at a few organizations for veterans, but some of them don’t give as much to the actual people, financially, as I feel they should. And the NWWC does.”


Great DSES supporters and parents of Erica Heim who is a veterinarian and a DSES student who had her arm and shoulder amputated because of cancer.

IMG_4839Thanks Dr. Nordella for putting on a fabulous event that was still raging when we went to bed at 1 am! Not only did I meet A TON of great people, I even learned how to play craps! And thank you to DSES volunteers, parents and students who joined in the fun. I’m really looking forward to doing it again next year!

If you did not get an opportunity to donate at the event you can make your donation here. We and your Wounded Warriors appreciate each and every donation no matter the size.

Kathy Copeland ©2015
Executive Director
National Wounded Warrior Center
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Phone: 760.934.0791
Email: kcopeland@disabledsportseasternsierra.org

To learn more about The National Wounded Warrior Center please watch our video [less than 2 mins]:

Help us raise $23 million to complete the National Wounded Warrior Center. $23 million will enable us to fund and sustain the National Wounded Warrior Center for twenty years. Our Wounded Warriors are the deserving heroes motivating and inspiring this project, but…we can’t do it without you! Your gift will help empower wounded, ill and injured servicemen and women, by facilitating their transition into fulfilling civilian lives through education, rehabilitation, health and wellness. Donations for the National Wounded Warrior Center are critical to its success. Please consider making a donation here.