The mission of the Shining Stars Foundation is to transform lives through year-round recreational and social programs for children and their families challenged with pediatric cancer or another life-threatening illness. Annually, we provide 70+ outdoor, social, and recreational experiences, including adaptive skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, rafting, biking, cooking, swimming, climbing, sailing, and so much more. All services are provided at no cost to the family.
We were founded 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. We have sustainably grown every year since our founding in 2001. In our past 18 years of operating, we have expanded from hosting one week-long adaptive ski program for 10 kids from Colorado with 2 employees and 30 volunteers to serving 928 children and families in 23 states through 70 programs and events under the direction of 5 staff and 350+ annual volunteers. We continue to make it a priority to keep overhead costs at a minimum, ensuring each dollar donated directly benefits the families we serve.
"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