That Smile at the End of the Day

By Brian Smith

As we prepare for the 2015 No Barriers Summit, we decided to look back at our last Summit in Telluride, Colo.

M’Lin Miller, Volunteer & Regional Program Manager, for Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, played a huge role in the herculean task of organizing and executing the Summit.

Partnering with No Barriers, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program organized 39 of the Summit’s adaptive clinics, assisted with 24 others that came to town and dispatched staff to help with the rest. In all, about 80 volunteers and a handful of staff helped make the Summit a reality.

But considering all that hard work, why was it worth it?

“It’s that smile at the end of the day, that fist bump, that high-five,” she said. “Whatever it happens to be. Something happened and something clicked.”

Being a Summit clinic provider helped cement her passion for helping others, she said.

“It is great to get everyone out there doing everything they want to do regardless of their ability level,” she said. “It’s fun to think outside the box and make sure everyone is getting the help and encouragement they may need to make it happen.”

Telluride Adaptive Sports is a non-profit offering therapeutic recreational activities for anyone living with a disability. They serve more than 400 clients and offer 1,600 activities each year.

“No Barriers coming into town doubled and tripled our summer numbers,” she said.

While Telluride Adaptive Sports Program has been in the area since the mid-90s and has made strides in elevating the mountain town’s awareness of possibilities for people with disabilities, the No Barriers Summit had added benefits.

“People are used to seeing our clients around, but just having that influx that weekend made it all the more visible of what we’re able to offer,” she said. “Some of it was getting around town and having the Parks Department come to us and say, ‘Hey, we aren’t fully up to code and we’re going to work on that and make it happen.’”

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