© 2024 KPCW

Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

‘I Can Do Hard Things 5K’ celebrates all abilities in Wasatch County

There were a lot of tears and cheers at the “I Can Do Hard Things 5K” fundraiser to support kids with special needs last weekend.

Everyone was a VIP at the “I Can Do Hard Things 5K” on Saturday and there was at least one celebrity in attendance–Curious George the mascot accompanied his buddy, Ty Hendricks. Ty’s mom Abby said her son eats, breathes and sleeps that mischievous monkey.

“Curious George came today to cheer him on," she said. "He thinks this race is just for him but it's for all special needs children in Wasatch County and Ty is visually impaired. He has autism and a rare genetic disorder that makes life really difficult but he is the most cheerful person and the funniest person you'll ever meet.”

So, what did Ty enjoy most about the event at Wasatch High School’s newly christened Tolley Track? “Just being here with my buddy, George. I know he's ticklish.” 

The race was Wasatch PEAK’s largest fundraiser. The “Parents Empowering Abled Kids” nonprofit is dedicated to helping facilitate recreational, educational and employment opportunities for them. 

Darcy and Gunnar
Darcy and Gunnar

This is Gunnar Larson’s first year with Wasatch PEAK and his mom Darcy said his favorite activity was learning to ski through the National Ability Center. 

“So this year we're working on getting the kids over to the National Ability Center to do equine horses," she said. "We're also working on getting them to Soldier Hollow to do activities. PEAK was able to buy several vans this year to help transport the kids and the special education teachers can drive them to the activities and arrange these field trips on their own.”

Gunnar is only one of 20 people in the world with partial trisomy 19, a rare chromosome disorder. Darcy said participating in the nonprofit’s activities have opened a whole new world to him.

“Miss Carla” Bedingfield is part of that new world. She was recently awarded the Adapted P.E. Teacher of the year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators. 

Miss Carla cheers on Halle Woodland
Miss Carla cheers on Halle Woodland

“I help kids access the P.E. curriculum using adaptive equipment that modifies some of the skills or the games that we play and lets them be with their typical peers," she said. "But I make it in a way that everyone feels inclusive. And it's so much fun, and seeing progress physically, where they can progress throughout the school year.”

The highlight of the weekend was a 100-yard dash for kids of all abilities. Some ran. Some walked. Some rolled. And, most importantly, every single kid was celebrated as they crossed the finish line.