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Eagle Mount is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that facilitates and implements therapeutic recreational programs and opportunities for people with disabilities, children with cancer, and provides support for their families. The organization was founded in Bozeman, Montana, and additional independent Eagle Mount organizations currently exist in Billings, Montana and Great Falls, Montana. The information in this article refers to Eagle Mount Bozeman.
I Am Third Foundation (based on Matthew 22) and Eagle Mount were founded in 1982 by General Robert C. Mathis and his wife, Greta, retired from a 34 year career in the Air Force. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, “The couple created more than a program for people with disabilities. They created kinship between anyone who deigns to get involved".
They started in the fall of 1983 with the Eagle Mount ski program at the Bridger Bowl ski hill. The following summer, horseback riding was added at a local ranch. The next programs to be added were swimming and the Big Sky Kids camps for children with cancer.
Eagle Mount Bozeman's campus in currently 19 acres which was donated by a local family; ten acres in the mid-1980s and an additional 9 adjacent acres in 2010. The campus includes administrative offices; riding arena with barn and horse paddocks; the Tim and Mary Barnard Aquatic Therapy Center built in 2008; and gardens and grounds.
Eagle Mount started with skiing in 1983. other programs include therapeutic horsemanship, aquatic therapy and adaptive swimming, Big Sky Kids oncology camps, horticultural therapy, EMBLEM program for veterans, and parent support programs.
Number of Participants
Eagle Mount planned on starting in 1983 with around twenty to thirty participants, the waiting list at that time had nearly 100 participants. In 2014, 1,783 participants were assisted by 1,979 volunteers who spent a total of 30,000 hours with all of Eagle Mount Bozeman programs.
Eagle Mount is a private non-profit organization which does not take government funding, instead relying on private donors, grants, and foundations. In-kind donations such as program equipment, ski passes and rental services, horses and hay, and more also facilitate the variety of programs. Support has come from The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. Three annual events held in support of Eagle Mount Bozeman's programs include the Western Rendezvous, a barn dance and auction fundraiser; the Crystal Ball, a black tie event; and Digger Days, a collaboration with local construction companies to let people of all ages drive heavy equipment with the support of professional operators.
Eagle Mount serves a wide variety of people with disabilities through a combination of specially trained staff and specialized equipment. The equipment includes mono-skis and bi-skis. These skis either have one or two skis under a specialized seat; a trained volunteer then holds a tether or bar, helping glide the person down the hill. Other specialized equipment includes 'ski legs' for skiers who can stand but need additional support on the hill and handcycles for cyclists with lower body impairments such as a spinal cord injury or amputation.
- Hausen, Jodi. "The Eagle That Soars". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 4-12-12. Check date values in:
- Bacaj, Jason (4-26-12). "Digger Days Raises Funds for Eagle Mount". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Check date values in: