In a world that’s constantly evolving, one nonprofit is committed to promoting inclusivity and breaking down barriers. This Fargo-Moorhead-based nonprofit is on a mission to revolutionize the landscape of sports and recreation for people with mobility issues. With a passion for empowering lives and a dedication to making the impossible happen, HOPE, Inc. has been providing hope to countless individuals and their families, just as their name suggests.
Whether it’s filling the gap by providing equipment for elementary physical education classes or taking on community members in a game of adaptive softball, HOPE, Inc. works hard to even the playing field for children and their families.
Fire on the Ice
HOPE, Inc. has made a tremendous difference not only to Alex Gullingsrud, but his family as well.
When Alex was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 8, their world was turned upside down. Following his amputation, Alex realized the limitations and adaptations required to do things he previously loved.
Now, Alex is fire on the ice, all thanks to HOPE, Inc.
“Through HOPE Inc. Alex is able to fully participate, be successful, and compete in activities that he CAN do!” said Alex’s mother, Nicole. “HOPE Inc. has helped Alex restore excitement, confidence and happiness to replace his sadness!”
“A Success by All Accounts”
Cerebral Palsy’s got nothing on Ryan Giese.
Just ask his dad, Chris.
“Despite his diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, Ryan has always maintained an unwavering determination. With a strong penchant for academics, a fondness for video games, a part-time job, an active social circle and an undying love for hockey, his life is a testament to his resilience,” Chris said.
Attributing his son’s accomplishments to the lessons learned through personal experiences, he says Ryan’s journey through his first 17 years has largely shaped his path, with HOPE, Inc. activities making up a significant portion.
“HOPE has provided the opportunity for Ryan to participate in athletic competitions — something that is not a guarantee for kids with physical impairments,” Chris said. “He’s learned to be part of a team, do his part to help the group succeed or fail, to win with grace and to pick himself up after those failures.
He has experienced his hard work paying off, improving his skills each year. He has met lifelong friends from our area and played sled hockey against opponents from the other side of the world. These lessons translate directly to life outside of sport and are a huge reason that Ryan is who he is today…a success by all accounts.”
The thrill of competition shouldn’t stop because of mobility challenges.
Every day, Emma Bastings encounters activities that she cannot participate in. In public, she’s the cute little girl in the wheelchair, but once she hits that track, there’s nothing that can stop her.
“Words can’t express how it felt to hear Bill (Grommesh, executive director of HOPE, Inc.) coaching her, or the roar of the crowd, or to see the look on her face during the race,” said Emma’s mom, Brandi.
Track meets are just one of the dozens of activities, both sport and otherwise, HOPE, Inc. hosts. Businesses like Choice Bank have participated in events, along with many other organizations.
Some RDO athletes even took to the field this year for a game of softball.
RDO Caters Taters for Charity
Jazmin Kelly, an inventory support specialist for RDO Equipment Co., said it isn’t as easy as the HOPE athletes make it seem.
“I was a little anxious at first, but after talking to the players, I was super excited,” she said. “It took a few trial throws to actually hit the ball and get going in the wheelchair, but after a few innings, I finally caught on.”
Would she do it again? Absolutely.
“I highly recommend other community members to take part in events like this,” Jazmin said. “Not only does it help a local nonprofit, it’s also super fun, and it really does show the importance and need of adaptable sports!”
Join HOPE, Inc. and RDO team members for RDO Caters Taters for Charity, November 21, 2023!