Site header graphic and logo
Who We Are

Maine Handicapped Skiing (MHS) is a non-profit 501 ( c ) (3) organization founded in 1982 by Dr. Omar (Chip) Crothers, a Portland-based orthopedic surgeon and Leslie B. Otten, founder of American Skiing Company. MHS is the largest, best-known year-round adaptive recreational program in Maine, attracting students from Maine, New England, the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

In 1982, Maine Handicapped Skiing was housed at Sunday River's South Ridge Center with eight participants and one part-time staff member. Today we have our own slope side facility at 8 Sundance Lane, Newry, Maine and winter programs at three additional locations - Sugarloaf/USA, Sunday River Inn & Cross Country Ski Center and Pineland Farms. MHS provides over 1200 winter adaptive lessons yearly with over 350 volunteers assisting our participants from early January through March.

MHS provides standard and adaptive ski, snowboard and snowshoe equipment, warm winter clothing when needed and specially trained volunteers to work with children and adults with physical disabilities so they can become independent skiers and snowboarders.

In the summer of 1999, Maine Handicapped Skiing started a summer adaptive recreation program for adults and children with physical disabilities. In the summer of 2004, MHS provided 173 lessons in conoeing, kayaking, golf, and cycling to our participants with 20 volunteers assisting.

In keeping with Maine Handicapped Skiing's mission and core values, all lessons at MHS are provided free of charge to our participants.

Our hope is that the experiences our participants take away with them will enhance other aspects of their lives so they can develop self-confidence, self-motivation, increased physical strength and an improved self-image. We also want our participants to learn a sport they can enjoy with their family and friends throughout their lives.

The MHS Mission Statement

Maine Handicapped Skiing promotes year-round education and training for individuals with physical disabilities in order to develop skills and provide enjoyment through active recreation.

Our core values:

We are committed to providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to overcome perceived limitations and boundaries.

We believe that participation in outdoor recreation will foster a sense of pride, confidence and self-esteem that will carry over into our athletes' everyday lives.

We support and encourage reasonable risk taking that will empower our athletes to challenge themselves and exceed expectations.

Our staff and volunteers are committed to providing professional instruction in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere to create a caring community and a fun experience for all participants (athletes, volunteers and staff).

Every MHS program will offer recreational education of the highest quality, free of charge to our athletes.

How We Are Supported

Maine Handicapped Skiing is free of charge to participants, both winter and summer, thanks to generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations as well as the tremendous support of Sunday River Ski Resort, Sugarloaf/USA, and Sunday River Inn and Cross Country Ski Center.

We conduct an annual campaign every fall to raise funds for MHS and we hold our annual Ski-A-Thon every March. The proceeds from the Ski-A-Thon, one of the biggest one-day fundraisers in Maine, covers approximately 70% of our yearly operating costs.

Funds contributed by foundations and corporate giving, including grants and matching gifts, go into the MHS general fund unless otherwise specified.