Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra committed to providing facility to support veterans with disabilities
David and Juice cycling during DSES’s Operation High Altitude. (Photo: DSES Collection)
Mammoth Lakes, California – September 9, 2020 – Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES) has announced that it will find a new location for its planned National Wounded Warrior Center. With contributions and commitments of $11.7 million, DSES has made tremendous progress in securing support to create a National Wounded Warrior Center in Mammoth Lakes. The new facility will offer veterans with disabilities the resources and knowledge they need to return to civilian life with confidence, hope, and skills to find successful employment and build strong families. While the project, originally planned for construction on Mammoth Lakes Foundation land near Cerro Coso Community College, finds itself in search of a new location, DSES embraces the change of plans as an opportunity to enhance its vision for the Center.
“Of course we are disappointed by the news that the MLF land is no longer available to us,” says DSES Executive Director Kathy Copeland, “especially as this sort of facility and expanded programming is needed now more than ever. We are reaching out to our generous donors and partners to inform them of this change, and our largest donor has recommitted their support and encouragement to create the Center. This is an opportunity to align the facility and programs with another location to help our heroes thrive.”
In a decision announced last Friday, the Mammoth Lakes Foundation applauded the outstanding programming offered by DSES and praised the “honorable merit” of the proposed National Wounded Warrior Center, but ultimately determined they would not provide the land for the project.
DSES appreciates the support of its donors and the Mammoth Lakes community for the proposed facility and stresses that addressing the needs of wounded warriors and veterans with disabilities has been, and remains, a top priority for the organization. Over time, veterans’ needs have shifted, requiring more programs to help overcome conditions such as PTS and depression. Prior to Covid-19, DSES planned to expand its current military sports programs by offering new one-week programs that were slated to begin this fall. The organization now hopes to be able to start the new programs early next year and will continue spearheading plans for the National Wounded Warrior Center
“Internally, we are assessing opportunities to enhance the vision of the National Wounded Warrior Center in a new location,” says Copeland. “We welcome community input and ideas as we forge ahead.”
Media contact: Laura Beardsley, Deputy Director, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, firstname.lastname@example.org, 760.934.0791