Seattle Fish was honored to receive the Bold Tracks Award at this year’s National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) “Exceeding Boundaries” Gala! The event was held virtually on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.
For the past 26 years, the Bold Tracks award has recognized prominent leaders in our community and commended them for their support of recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. Accepting the award on behalf of SFC was President and CEO Derek Figueroa, who started volunteering as a ski instructor for NSCD long before his time with Seattle Fish and was recognized by NSCD as 2004 volunteer of the year.
“I was lucky enough, in my younger and formative years, to volunteer with NSCD,” said Figueroa in his acceptance speech, “and the experience taught me lessons in challenge, resiliency, courage, fun… I know that experience shaped me and made me a better human.”
“The pride in this award is rooted in our respect for NSCD,” Figueroa continued. “Once you get involved with NSCD, the impact of the organization is infectious and reenforces the commitment to support, contribute, and become more involved. In fact, the draw to partner with the organization extends beyond our organization and now includes our customers. Our contribution would not be possible without the hard work and generosity of our customers who are integral in raising awareness and funds through their selfless contribution of time and talent.”
For those who are unfamiliar with NSCD’s work, they are a world leader in creating and providing adaptive outdoor recreation experiences and one of Seattle Fish Co’s longtime philanthropic partners. The company was founded over 50 years ago when Winter Park Ski School was looking for instructors to teach amputees from Children’s Hospital Colorado how to ski. Hal O’Leary, the founder of NSCD, was the first and only person to raise his hand.
Though that first experience was a trying one, Hal (pictured right) succeeded in his efforts to teach adaptive skiing. In the time since, until his passing in 2021, Hal revolutionized the adaptive ski industry and has continuously broken down barriers between sports and those living with disabilities. Today, the NSCD offers experiences such as skiing, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, archery, camping and more.
For the past 20 years, SFC has helped NSCD grow their annual Corks & Forks event into a top culinary fundraiser in Denver. During the pandemic, SFC continued to partner with NSCD by assisting with the Dine for NSCD Virtual Event. All of the work Seattle Fish has done organizing, supporting and donating product for NSCD would not be possible without the support of their customers, whom Figueroa feels fortunate to partner with.
Figueroa also thanked Scott Richardson, a Seattle Fish sales representative, whom he credits with coordinating the company’s participation in Corks & Forks and the important task of organizing chef and restaurant participation, which is pivotal to ensuring the event’s success year after year.
“Our partnership with NSCD has made a profound impact on our organization, our people and our culture [at Seattle Fish],” said Figueroa. “If you have the time, the expertise and the means, I would strongly encourage you to get involved, to volunteer, to donate… I promise you will not regret it.”
Stay tuned for more information on the next in-person Corks & Forks event, which will be held in 2022! If you’d like to make a donation to or volunteer with NSCD, visit the NSCD website for more information.