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Adaptive ski clinic helps people with disabilities take to the slopes in Southington

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SOUTHINGTON -- The snow was falling Tuesday and things were looking up at Mount Southington -- largely because a group of 11 adaptive skiers where headed down the hill.

The group, from the Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers were learning the tricks of the trade from 22 instructors and volunteers and, for some, covering ground they didn't think they could.

"It's probably been 25 years since I've been skiing," said Julie Carman, visiting Mount Southington from Swarthmore, Penn. as part of the Leaps of Faith Program.

Carman lost her leg to cancer but was back on the slopes riding in an adaptive ski bike. "I have three boys so I'm trying be a mom and be active and not just a taxi driver," she said.

The group of adaptive skiers was joined by State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr (D-Branford) who lost his leg at age 12 due to bone cancer. Kennedy went on the travel the world competing as a member of the US Disabled Ski Team.

"Every single person with a disability in Connecticut can learn how to ski thanks to Mount Southington and Leaps of Faith Adaptive Ski Program," Kennedy said before ascending the lift to take a few runs.

Joel Zeisler, the director of Sandy Hook based Leaps of Faith said, "The smiles are a bit more frigid but the smiles are there. It's fun, it's about confidence, and you're learning to a skill." Kennedy added, "Success on the slopes can lead to success in all aspects."

Leaps of Faith is planning another event at Mount Southington on February 14th. To find out more click here.

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