Young snowboarder signs on with foundation to promote helmet awareness
by Jack Deming
Nov 29, 2013 | 3867 views | 1 1 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Griffin MacFadyen, front left, with the High Fives Foundation founder Roy Tuscany, right, Adam Baillargeon. back right, and one of the “#helmetsarecool” film’s featured athletes, Michael Schwarz, back left.
Griffin MacFadyen, front left, with the High Fives Foundation founder Roy Tuscany, right, Adam Baillargeon. back right, and one of the “#helmetsarecool” film’s featured athletes, Michael Schwarz, back left.
DOVER- Fifth-grader Griffin MacFadyen has become well known around Mount Snow for his killer skills on the slopes of Carinthia, and his last edit went global on YouTube, gaining the recognition of the snowboarding magazine world along the way. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and Griffin is using his talent not only to impress, but also to educate, teaming up with the High Fives Foundation to teach the world about why helmets are cool.

High Fives Foundation, based in Truckee, CA, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes that have suffered a life-altering injury while pursuing their dream in the winter action sports community. This year Griffin is teaming up with High Fives, raising money through sponsorships of his 2013-2014 competition season through a sponsorship drive he and his father Don Griffin created. MacFadyen is asking for pledges based upon how he finishes in the 21 competitive events he intends to ride in. Donations can be put on his first-, second-, and third-place finishes.

“We’re going to raise money for injured people; by having people pledging on me through the season,” said Griffin. “It feels good just to help people out. It makes me happy.” Griffin got started with High Fives after local realtor Adam Palmiter showed his video edit to Roy Tuscany, High Fives founder and executive director. Tuscany asked Griffin to be a part of their new BASICS (Being Aware Safe in Critical Situations) program, which promotes safety and awareness, and targets the younger generation of boarders that represent tomorrow’s professionals. BASICS is one of three programs the foundation runs. The Winter Empowerment Fund provides support for alternative healing and therapies and rehabilitative and adaptive equipment to athletes who suffer a life-altering injury, while the CR Johnson Healing Center provides resources for athletes in recovery from sports related injuries, including physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, personal training.

“For him to want to give back any financial earnings is a mind boggle to me,” said Tuscany. “I said, wow, this is way ahead of time for someone his age to do something like this.” Tuscany believes that Griffin can be just the beginning in a movement that gets youth using their skill to help other riders.

High Fives Foundation also has ties to the Vermont area as Tuscany is from Waterbury, and Steve Wallace, who also works for the foundation, is from Dover.

Tuscany says the foundation will start to expand more and more to the Green Mountain State.

Earlier this year, High Fives came to Dover School to show their new video “#helmetsarecool,” and speak about safety. Griffin got to introduce Tuscany and also got to take part in explaining why helmets are cool. “They keep you from having injuries and they also keep you staying active,” said MacFayden.

Tuscany began High Fives after suffering a serious injury in a skiing accident. The foundation is his way of paying it forward. “I was super lucky and the communities in Lake Tahoe and Vermont raised money for me, and helped me. There are other people in this community who will suffer the same injuries.”

On top of his philanthropic efforts, Griffin was recently chosen as the youngest rider ever named to the Carinthia team.

Griffin will be part of the amateur riders group and will be officially sponsored by Mount Snow where he’ll get to board for free and represent Carinthia.
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Donna MacFadyen
November 30, 2013
If you would like to sponsor Griffin for his fundraising efforts, please email him at Thank you!

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