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Peace of Adventure

Empowering veterans to serve civilians with disabilities through outdoor recreation and adventure.

About

Peace of Adventure provides healing for veterans by empowering them to lead civilians with disabilities on outdoor recreation adventures. We believe in the power of serving others and believe this act of serving is good for the mind, body and soul. Through adaptive backpacking and mountaineering trips led by veterans in the high alpine of Colorado, we hope to push individuals with disabilities beyond what is thought possible in an effort to break barriers, bring populations together and work as a team to create an inclusive environment.

At Peace of Adventure, we believe in the concept of “squad therapy” and believe programmatic success does not end when we step out of the mountains. Peace of Adventure takes veterans from the same community and implements post-trip accountability enabling veterans to come together as a “squad” in their local community. Personal growth is a continuous process and Peace of Adventure aims to provide resources for long-term and sustainable growth.

Vision

Peace of Adventure aims to facilitate healing and warrior transition for veterans while also enabling civilians with disabilities to live active and healthy lives.

Events

Peace of Adventure programs are uniquely designed to bring veterans and civilians with disabilities together through the power of recreation. Utilizing multi-day adventures in the mountains of Colorado and North Carolina, we believe our adventures serve as a great catalyst to a long-term plan for care and connection among participants. Peace of Adventure is committed to sustainable growth and development through peer support, and continues to work with industry professionals to develop an innovative curriculum designed to bring our squads together as a family.

In order to participate in Peace of Adventure programming, applicants must commit one year of post-adventure accountability with their respective squads as well as with Peace of Adventure staff. Following a week of adventure, Peace of Adventure plants participants back into their communities with an action plan to remain connected to self, mentor/mentee, squad and community. The uniqueness of our programs enables us to empower continued service in the veteran population while opening doors and providing mentors for the disability community.

Peace of Adventure believes the best way to serve our veteran community is to continue empowering them to serve others. The best example of a selfless leaders in today’s society are veterans and veterans are exceptionally-suited to assist the disability community into discovering what is possible. If you believe you qualify and are interested in joining a Peace of Adventure program, please submit an inquiry to Erin Dreis, Peer Support Specialist, at erin@peaceofadventure.org and will do our best to find the right adventure for you.

Who We Are

Kyle Thomas | Executive Director | Email Kyle
Kyle’s passion for the great outdoors and his experience working with the disability community led him to a successful career in adaptive sports. Describing his work as selfish, Kyle finds personal motivation in witnessing the perseverance of others and believes that pushing beyond our perceived limitations is where we truly learn to live. When not traveling the country in his tiny house, Kyle can be found mountain biking, whitewater kayaking or winding down with a craft beer with friends.

Dana Draa | Chairperson | Email Dana
Dana A. Draa is currently serving as a Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs – Health Administration. Dana has two masters degrees and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Health Research – Assistive Technology. Dana served 4 years active duty in the United States Navy and 3 years in the Alaska Army National Guard. Dana volunteers with Team River Runner and and enjoys good ‘ole fashion adventures with her lovely family.

Tanner Bacon | Vice-Chairperson | Email Tanner
Tanner is an Account Executive for Blackbaud, Inc. and works with nonprofit organizations nationwide to implement fundraising solutions matching industry trends. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Tanner’s love for his Buffaloes is only matched by his passion for adventure. Tanner cycled across the country in 2003 to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. A current resident of Charleston, S.C., Tanner enjoys spending relaxing weekends on the beach with his family.

Ryan McCarthy | Treasurer | Email Ryan
Ryan is the current Director of Acquisitions for Sunstone Hotel Investors and has more than ten years of experience in the hospitality industry including operations, asset management, strategic planning, and real estate transactions. Ryan is an Ironman triathlete and spent the summer of 2000 cycling across the country. His passion for an active lifestyle is fueled by his deep understanding and appreciation for adaptive sports and the abilities of all people. A resident of Southern California, Ryan enjoys fun in the sun with his wife and exploring all that California has to offer.

BJ Ganem | Secretary | Email BJ
BJ Ganem served with the United State Marine Corps until he was injured in Iraq on November 25, 2004. He now serves as a Veteran Lead with Semper Fi Fund and is currently working on his master’s degree in social work specializing in military life. BJ is the captain of the Warrior Amputee Football Team and serves as a mentor to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. A dedicated husband and father of three, BJ’s relentless commitment to improving veteran reintegration pales in comparison to his love and dedication to his family.

Jay Holley | Board Member | Email Jay
While in college, Jay spent summers participating in cross-country cycling trips to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Lately, he can be found in a coffee shop with a laptop as he lives and works in the Silicon Valley startup world. After spending six years living in Colorado, he knows firsthand the allure of the Rockies. Whether skiing, hiking, biking or just relaxing after a day on the hill, he feels at home in the mountains. This passion for the outdoors combined with his joy of working with the disability community led Jay to a leadership role with Peace of Adventure.

Please email Email info@peaceofadventure.org for more information about Peace of Adventure.

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