We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Hal’s community for giving this incredible man the send off and memorial he deserved.
As you might know, I (Rosemary) work for Kathy Gingery, who is Hal’s dear friend and power of attorney.
All of the funds raised here in Hal’s GoFundMe have been designated to help pay his end of life medical expenses, his after life arrangements, and to cure any remaining debts. Any money left over will be donated to the National Sports Center for the Disabled and the Shining Stars Foundation.
Kathy is set up as the beneficiary of this campaign and will continue to work diligently to wrap up Hal’s affairs.
Again, thank you all for your support and your understanding as we continue to move through this loss.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out.
If you'd like to send Hal a card or donation via mail, his contact information is below:
PO Box 780
Tabernash, CO 80478
Hal's Phone: [phone redacted]
Hal O’Leary has helped thousands of people with disabilities during his lifetime. He was instrumental in the development of a ski teaching program that began at Winter Park Resort in Colorado in 1970, and grew to become the National Sports Center for the Disabled. This internationally recognized program is still providing over 20 different sport and recreation programs to over 4,000 children, adults and military veterans each year.
Now retired and in his nineties, Hal O'Leary has had two years of serious health issues and is facing yet another surgery in mid-May. Hal suffered a serious infection resulting from knee replacement surgery two years ago, and spent months on IV antibiotics in a medical rehab facility at that time. He was able to return to independent living at home in Denver until January of 2021 when he suffered a fall that bought him to the ER, where they discovered his knee was once again infected. He had surgery to remove the artificial knee joint and install an antibiotic spacer, leaving him back in rehab for months while the infection heals. If the infection can be cleared up he will undergo yet another surgery to replace the artificial knee and begin rehab once more. He was also recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's.
Hal's medical expenses these past two years have been significant, and he will still need 24-hour skilled nursing care for an unknown length of time. His medical expenses can easily surpass $100,000, and his ongoing skilled nursing care will run $11,000 per month, plus additional out-of-pocket costs. He has had little direct contact with people while in rehab due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Hal’s friends have been generous when they heard of his medical bills, but we need to get the word out to reach a much wider audience to help this remarkable human being. Hal has been there for thousands of people with his understanding and encouragement. His impact is not only in teaching disabled people to ski, but in teaching them that life can still be lived with joy no matter the disability. The life lessons taught from learning what many people consider a difficult sport translated into all areas of life for these disabled children and adults. The motto of his program was, “If I can do this, I can do anything.” The work Hal O'Leary did at Winter Park to form the National Sports Center for the Disabled, to set up similar programs around the country and around the world, and to change society's perception of the disabled, has been invaluable. It's time to help him out and pay him back.
Hal still has an incredible sense of humor, and he is an inspiration to be around. He is determined to walk again. He is taking all those lessons he taught people about focusing on what abilities you have and he is applying that philosophy to his own life. He really needs your financial help now, but he has been too humble to ask for it until recently. However, the medical bills are mounting, and that’s one worry that can be alleviated by the people and families of those he has helped, and by your support. On behalf of Hal, we’re asking for your help. Please give generously, just as Hal has given back to the world for over 30 years in his work for people with disabilities.
Known to many as the "Father of Adaptive Skiing," Hal is a pioneer in his field, who invented many of the techniques and adaptive equipment used worldwide today to teach the differently-abled to ski. He has been awarded a myriad of accolades, including an induction into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame and the U.S. Disabled Ski Hall of Fame.
Here is a bio from the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame listing his accomplishments: Click here to view
Hal has done so much to bring light and joy to the lives of children and adults faced with disabilities throughout his life. We're hoping we can now give some of that light back to Hal.
If you're in a position to support Hal, please help. And most importantly, please share this Go Fund Me link with your network.
I created this fundraiser with the help of Kathy Gingery, Hal's dear friend who has been helping to handle all of his affairs for the past 5 years. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.