The mission of the Shining Stars Foundation is to transform lives through year-round, outdoor recreational and social programs for children and their families challenged with pediatric cancer or another life-threatening illness.
The Shining Stars Foundation provides services centered around recreational and social activities, including: adaptive skiing/snowboarding, outdoor education, adventure sports, music, cultural and community events, animal based therapy, and more. Services are delivered through overnight, week-long programs and single day events. A majority of programs accommodate the entire family, with a few programs tailored specifically to the child. All programs are provided at no cost to the child or their family.
Our programs challenge each child physically in a way that they can succeed, showing them all they are capable of accomplishing. Our programs also introduce the child and their entire family to a network of other families who know exactly what they have been through. This creates life-long relationships, through which everyone gains strength and support. The proven result of our programs: attitudes transform, spirits come alive, hope is ignited and lives forever change.
We are currently one of few nonprofits nationally providing long-term, year-round care for children and their families through recreational programming at any stage in their cancer battle, including treatment, relapse, or remission. We continue to be groundbreaking in our ability to safely adapt a diverse range of outdoor adventures to meet the needs of children with a life threatening illness.
We were founded in 2001 by volunteers who saw an unmet need in the Rocky Mountains for a program that would provide emotional support to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through recreational programs. Originally focused on providing an adaptive ski experience through the Aspen Winter Games Program, the Foundation has grown to provide five key programs and over 70 events each year The Foundation continues to grow each year, expanding its geographic reach, offering more services, and helping more families in need.
"In the past, I had been told I was hopeless. I was dying, in a wheelchair, and on oxygen. Shining Stars gave me hope. I went skiing in a sit ski with many other kids just like me, something I had never dreamed was possible. Now my life has changed. I want to live, all day, every day." - Evan, Participant
"I could go on forever about how incredible the Shining Stars Foundation is. Our daughter has faced two years of treatment, two years of throwing up, and two years of being poked with a needle. She is very limited by a lot of things, mostly her eyesight. She will never ride a bike or a drive a car, which breaks my heart. She came home from the ski camp in tears, talking about how life-changing everything was. Anya told me, 'Dad, when I was skiing on those mountains I never felt so free, that I had no limitations and could do anything.' Thank you for giving her hope." - Bernie, Parent
"Shining Stars gives something to the whole family. Parents make connections at your events and siblings get to meet others who have walked in their shoes. Our kids made lifelong friendships with other kids who have also had to grow up faster than their peers because of cancer." - Julie, Parent