This week’s fires in the North Bay have impacted the entire Bay Area, including the BORP Community. We were deeply saddened to learn that Christina Hanson was a victim of the fire in Santa Rosa and send our condolences to her friends and family. Christina was a BORP youth program participant from 2002 to 2006 — Click here to read a touching tribute to Christina from childhood friend and former BORP teammate, Christine Burke.
We have been in contact with many BORP participants who have been displaced as a result of the fires to ensure they have everything they need. All those impacted are invited to join a Facebook group we’ve set up to connect the BORP community with resources, temporary housing, and to meet other needs as they emerge.
BORP has hosted the annual Revolution Ride & Festival in Sonoma for 15 years and each year the community opens its arms to help us organize this important event, with local businesses and groups donating everything from coffee and bagels to pop-up tents and water coolers. We are deeply indebted to the region now devastated by fires. We reached out this week to ask the BORP community to donate supplies for shelters serving evacuees and you responded generously and selflessly, bringing enough bedding, air mattresses, toiletries, water, and other items to fill the large BORP van. We delivered those items on Thursday morning to a distribution center in Benicia, CA and from there they will be sent to shelters across the region based on their needs.
When one distribution center volunteer saw the van full of supplies, she exclaimed: “You all are amazing.” We couldn’t agree more. Thank you to everyone who donated goods.
Perched on the upper south slope of Mt. Tamalpais is the historic West Point Inn; a magical getaway close to the San Francisco/Bay Area. Built in 1904 as a stopover and restaurant on the Mill Valley/Mt. Tamalpais Railway line, this rustic inn sits above the fog belt offering stunning panoramic views of the East Bay, San Francisco, the Marin Headlands and one tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. At night stars fill the skies.
Rustic and accessible don’t often go hand in hand but this gem of an Inn is one exception with the caveat that the one-mile dirt road to reach the cabin may be problematic for some lowered floor vans due to road erosion; driving slowly helps. The Emig Cabin, a purposefully built accessible cabin (the other cabin and Inn rooms are not accessible) was built summer 2017 and features a private bathroom with a roll-in shower, a double and twin bed, and a small porch. Reclaimed wood paneled walls from Marin Municipal Water District’s water towers enhance the rooms rustic charm. Unlike the other cabins or guest rooms at the Inn, the Emig cabin has electricity, heat, and hot water. There is an accessible path of travel connecting the Emig cabin to the Inn and van accessible parking—the Inn is hike-in only unless you have a disabled parking placard. Other features of the Inn, all of them accessible, include a community kitchen, dining area, large living room and a spacious deck with expansive views. Guests will need to bring their own bedding and food; there is none on-site or nearby. Escape to this special place and you will likely not want to leave but to continue the magic, from the inn you can drive a short distance to the top of Mt. Tam and hike the wheelchair accessible Verna Dunshee loop trail.
It’s best to make reservations by calling the innkeeper, 415-388-9955. Rates for non-members are $50 per person and require a two-person minimum per-cabin / per-night.
BORP’s Cycling Program and ten BORP Participants joined Mark Wellman’s No Limits Yosemite Adventure in September. For five participants, this was their first time in Yosemite!
On October 9th former BORP Bay Cruiser, Christina Hanson, tragically lost her life in the wildfires that devastated Wine Country. Christina’s family has lost a daughter, the disability community has lost one of their own, and on a personal note, I have lost a childhood friend. Growing up, my parents often talked about our summer playdates at the pool and get-togethers at the Spina Bifida Association’s picnic events. As we got older, I fondly recall trips to Christina’s house where we couldn’t wait to start on our latest art project venture, all of course while being serenaded by the greatest Canadian pop diva of all time, Celine Dion. Aside from seeing Christina at Saturday basketball practices, we also found ourselves attending many of the same sports camps. Christina brought a sweet presence wherever she went; my heart truly breaks for her father Michael, whose love for his daughter was a force to be reckoned with, and stepmother Jennifer, who was a fierce advocate and warrior for Christina. Rest peacefully, you are loved and will be greatly missed.
A memorial fund has been set up for Christina’s family. Click here to donate.
We are saddened to share that long-time member of the BORP family, Kathryn “KB” Black, passed away on Friday, September 1. KB believed deeply in BORP’s mission of creating opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy adaptive sports and recreation and her support and involvement over the years impacted the lives of countless BORP participants.
As BORP’s Co-Coordinator of the Children and Youth Sports Programs from 1993 to 1995, KB focused on the development of BORP’s power soccer team. She organized local tournaments and arranged travel for the team’s trips to away tournaments, including a trip to Canada. She also assisted Tim Orr, founder of BORP’s Youth Sports Program, with the wheelchair basketball and track & field programs, and in 1994 she was honored with BORP’s Coach of the Year award.
From 1990 to 1998 Kathryn was a member of the Bay Area Meteorites Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. In her first year, she was a member of the 1990 Gold Cup and Pan American USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams. In 1994 she was again on the Gold Cup Team and was an alternate on the 1996 USA Women’s Basketball Team. She was inducted into BORP’s Hall of Fame in 2016.
KB left BORP in order to pursue a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy with a focus in pediatric but continued to stay involved as a participant and supporter for the rest of her life. KB participated in every Revolution event and she will be greatly missed at this year’s REV. We are honored that her family and friends will ride in honor of her life and with the goal of enriching others this year.
Reflecting on the loss to our BORP family, Tim Orr, founder of BORP’s Youth Sports Program said, “This week, BORP lost an awesome athlete, coach, and friend. Kathryn “KB” Black was one of a kind. And truly, it’s wrong to say that we lost her, because her competitive spirit, support, and love will live on in all of us at BORP for as long as we keep on pushing.”