North Country
6:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Wanted: "Mules" With Muscle, Heart And Money To Tackle Mount Washington

Bella Hibberd of Bethlehem, who was born with cerebral palsy, was the force behind a fashion show Sunday at the Colonial Theatre to raise money for Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR
Broadcast story.

Lots of people climb Mount Washington. But a North Country non-profit group is wants help to go beyond a normal ascent.

They need people for the Sunrise Ascent to help push and pull two children and three adults with disabilities to the top.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Sandy Olney is the head of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country and she cherishes her volunteers but she calls them mules.

They will provide the muscle to get five adventurers with disabilities up the 7.6-mile auto road.

“They will all be using what is called a trail rider and it is a type of hiking chair that is a kind of cross between a wheel barrow and a rickshaw.”

They also provide fiscal power, paying a fee and raising funds.

Olney’s still looking for mules for the August 4th climb, her organization’s major fund raiser.

Dozens of children participated in the fashion show, showing off everything from princess costumers to spiky, green hair.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Meanwhile, teams are also raising money for Olney's organization. That includes Bella Hibberd, a Bethlehem Elementary School pupil who was born with cerebral palsy.

Sunday Bella’s supporters held a children’s fashion show.

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Little girl’s voice - “Come on. It’s time to get on stage.”

It included some song.

Little girl singing twinkle, twinkle little star….

Bella, who is non-verbal, has made two other trips up Mount Washington and finds it thrilling, says her mother, April.

“She loves anything fun and exciting.”

And, Hibberd says, Bella thinks the dear, friends who help her being called mules is just hilarious.

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen

For information on the teams:

Team Bella -

Team Chester -

Team Kevin -

Team Lillian -

Team Martin -

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR
Bella Hibberd and friends.
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR