The sell-out crowd and subsequent grand success of Del Mar Village Association’s Summer Solstice, held on June 19 in the oceanfront Powerhouse Park, allowed DMVA to purchase two sand-worthy wheelchairs for Del Mar’s Safety Center.
At a cost of $2,500 apiece, these specialized chairs were purchased to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Operation Rebound Program. The program serves wounded troops and first responders injured in the line of duty, and the fat-tire wheelchairs allow access to the ocean and the beach. The athletes can be seen participating in and enjoying various water activities on Thursday mornings near the 17th Street lifeguard tower.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation was established in 1997 and grew out of the need to assist one athlete who became paralyzed in a triathlon. From this modest beginning arose a more important mission — to make sure that people with physical challenges have the same freedom to enjoy sports as everyone else. The chairs are also available for use by locals and visitors needing assistance in reaching the shore.