Friday, August 5, 2011

Adaptive Sports event to feature Pentagon speaker

Express Staff Writer

Colonel David W. Sutherland

Sun Valley Adaptive Sports will host a fundraiser next week that will include dinner, dancing, a silent and live auction and a special guest speaker, Col. David W. Sutherland.

The event, A Hero's Journey, will raise funds for the local nonprofit with the mission of enriching the lives of youths, teens, adults and wounded veterans with disabilities through sports and recreation.

Money from the event will benefit all Sun Valley Adaptive Sports' programs. But organizers say the focus on wounded veterans next week will bring attention to a group of people whose needs are not always in the public eye.

"We feel they're an underserved population," said organization Executive Director Erin Rheinschild. "We have a continuum of care, beyond recreation. We integrate them back at home, find resources for them and give them coping strategies. All those components make us unique. It's quite a process and a very successful one."

Auction items will include Red Sox tickets near the dugout, sniper training by SPEAR Tactical, a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at the privately owned Terrasol and many other events and activities.

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Sutherland is the special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and is director of the Warrior and Family Support office.

As a company commander, he deployed to Southwest Asia as part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While commanding the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team "Greywolf," 1st Cavalry Division, he deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sutherland was awarded a Purple Heart, and he is the 2008 Freedom Award Recipient presented by the No Greater Sacrifice Foundation for his efforts focused on Wounded Warriors and Gold Star Families.

He currently is on a "Fifty States in 50 weeks" tour to support programs that cater to members of the military, veterans and military families.

The event will be Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. at River Run Lodge. Tickets are $150.

For more information, call 726-9298, ext. 112, or email

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