Brent Ayres

Years with Recreation Unlimited: Six years

Brent said skiing gives him and his daughter, Jordan, something they can do together.

Jordan was born with arthrogryposis, a rare disorder which inhibits the extension or flexion of one or more joints. With almost no use of her legs, very limited use of her left arm, and 80 percent use of her right arm, Jordan uses a power wheelchair to get around.

Brent relocated his family to Boise in 2005 for work, and soon after enrolled Jordan with Recreation Unlimited. In 2008, he started volunteering with the program himself to be able to ski with her.

Brent said he was happy that Recreation Unlimited allowed him the flexibility to work with her in the program even though he has not certified as a ski instructor.  Having skied since he was four years old, Brent said he was confident in his abilities as a skier and was able to master handling a sit-ski and a tether, without the significant commitment needed to certify as an instructor.  While programs in other parts of the country he’d lived had not been so flexible, he said Recreation Unlimited was more than willing to work with him.

Since enrolling Jordan in the Recreation Unlimited, Brent said he has been impressed by what others have been willing to give, and what it gave him and his family. He decided he needed to be involved to give other families the same chance.  “Jordan has had teachers and people who have been so good to her,” he said. “I felt the need to give back and do something others might not have the ability to do so.”  Since volunteering with Recreation Unlimited, Brent said he has enjoyed the ability he’s had to ski with kids other than his daughter. He especially enjoys the appreciation he gets from other parents.  “What gives me the most satisfaction, and what keeps me coming back,” he said, “is when a parent will come up and sincerely say thank you, tell you that their kids had such a great day.”

“That heartfelt appreciation makes it all worthwhile.”