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Team Paradise Awarded Florida Panthers Community Champions Grant!

Team Paradise was recently honored with a sizeable check during the Florida Panthers hockey game at the BB&T Center . The Florida Panthers Community Champions Grant is dedicated to our VA Sailing Program, and our core group of Veterans showed up for the celebration.  The high point of the evening was when our video was shown on the giant video scoreboard, high above center ice.  It was an unforgettable moment and we are honored and forever grateful for being able to carry our mission forward!
Panthers Foundation at Game Florida Panthers Foundation

Veterans Sailing

Our Disabled Veterans Sailing Program is a perfect match to our mission, which is "Dedicated to changing lives by inspiring and empowering the disabled community to experience outdoor recreational, educational and therapeutic healing activities through the sport of sailing."  What better resource for us to connect with people with disabilities than the Veterans Administration? 

Our program is designed to include activities to progress participants up a pyramid of development.  It is the choice of the participant as to how far they would like to move up the level of development.  

Team Paradise became a member of the Paralympic Sports Club network in 2012 and was awarded the Olympic Opportunity Fund from the Veterans Administration that same year.  

Team Paradise is a "quality over quantity" program. We took 1,892 people sailing during the past two years and 289 of them were Veterans!

VA Sailing

Daniel Evans

Daniel Evans

Born and raised in Maryland, Daniel injured his spinal cord in the military in 2000.  He had some sailing experience but wanted to learn more about racing and desired to develop as an athlete. He visited Team Paradise in November of 2010 and moved to Miami in 2011.  Daniel had instant success!  He quickly established himself on the US Sailing Team and in 2014 became the US Disabled Sailing Champion in the Paralympic 2.4mR class and began competing internationally. Daniel began sailing the Sonar, the three-person Paralympic keelboat, for a better chance to represent his country in the 2016 Paralympic Games.  His team eventually finished second in the trials to the team that went on to win the Paralympic silver medal!

Donoray Bickham

Born and raised in Louisiana, Donoray is a visually impaired Vietnam Veteran. Donoray was a complete sailing novice when he first participated in our Veterans Sailing Program in 2013, but he was eager to learn!  He has competed in sailboat racing in St. Petersburg, FL, Galveston, TX, New York, NY, and Newport, RI.  Locally, Donoray skippered our 23' Sonar to victory in the 2015 Columbus Day Regatta. He sails and trains as often as he can, holding the #1 attendance record amongst all of our Veterans!

Donoray Bickham