Dear Dick,



Cross D Bar has successfully developed fishing and outdoor recreation activities very carefully but enthusiastically over the years. They became genuinely involved many years ago developing accessible facilities , equipment, and staff to ensure therapeutic and encouraging activity for people with disabilities. Those efforts paid off for their disabled clients by helping to restore confidence in life and skills useful in day to day function (a highly effective reality based skill training modality). Today, due to their effort, many have benefitted from activity at the facility and Cross D Bar can take great pride in their fully developed programs which now include so many wounded vets. as well. They have properly developed programs, facilities, and activities, endured over time, and, most importantly, siginficantly enhanced a positive lifestyle for many people with disabilities. 



Sam Andrews Dir.

Therapeutic Recreation Craig Hospital (retired)




Hi Dick,


The Cross D Bar Recreation Foundation has been instrumental in enabling persons with disabilities to access fishing in the great Colorado outdoors. They have ensured accessibility for persons utilizing wheelchairs, both with restrooms and access to the stocked lakes. They provide competent volunteers to assist the disabled in baiting, casting, and reeling. As a supervisor for a community recreation program focusing on meeting the needs of the disabled, we have visited the Cross D Bar Recreation Foundation several times and it has been a positive experience for the participants! Also, the Cross D Bar Recreation Foundation does great outreach to veterans, injured service members, individuals in long term care facilities, and people in the community who have disabilities.


All the best,


Diana Ridderhoff, PR & PC

City of Colorado Springs Therapeutic Recreation Program




Dear Mr. Mandel,



The participants of the Denver Parks and Recreation Special Needs Progran want to extend their gratitude for a wonderful time at Cross D Bar Ranch on Saturday, June 22, 2002. Also, a special thank you to all the volunteers from the U.S. Forest Service, Trout Unlimited and the Division of Wildlife, for all of your help and of course you Mr. Mandel for giving us this special opportunity to be part of the fishing clinic.


In addition the fishing clinic was a perfect leisure education activity for our participants. They acquired additional fishing skills such as casting, baiting, food identification, rod maintenance, fishing etiquette, and so much more! We hope our participants will continue to develop and learn fishing skills as one of their recreational pursuits.


We had a very special day. Everyone had an ideal fishing adventure and a chance to meet wonderful and helpful people. We hope to join you again in the future with additional participants who want to learn how to fish or just enjoy the adventure.




Gina Candelaria, CTRS

Recreation Instructor




To whom it may concern,


This letter is being written as a thank you to the Cross D Bar Recreation Foundation. Recently, a group of disabled

individuals from Pueblo Diversified Industries (PDI), attended a fishing clinic sponsored by your foundation. The individuals who attended this event had a wonderful time and have expressed their desire to do this again in the future.

As Residential Manager of PDI, I am always looking for ways to enrich the lives of our residents not only in an entertaining way, but also in a therapeutic way. Many of our individuals haven't always had the opportunity to participate in such events. Some of the therapeutic benefits, which I feel our residents gained during this outing include social interaction with community members and peers, physical activity, mental and emotional stimulation and, of course, a lot of fun and laughter!

Thank you for the opportunity you have given our residents and we look forward to working with you in the future. 




Kristy D. Johnson

PDI Manager of Residential Serivces



Dear Dick,


The people we serve and the staff would like to send a big thanks to you and everyone who helped make the fishing clinic such a special and fun time. The stories of fish caught seem to grow each time we talk about it. I heard one of the guys caught over 20 fish. He of course released what he should, but was so excited about it. We are looking forward to seeing the pictures so we can verify these stories. It was especially a memorable day for those who have significant physical challenges. It is sometimes difficult to get out to do things like this. The fresh air and the views are breath taking.


Again, thanks and we'll see you next year!!



Ann McKenzie, people in service and staff 

Martin Luther Homes





Dear Mr. Mandel,



On behalf of the entire City of Colorado Springs Therapeutic Recreation Program staff, I would like to extend my appreciation to you and others at the Cross D Bar for the exceptional accomodations offered to the twenty participants, staff and volunteers who enjoyed wonderful weather and great trout fishing on Bear Creek this past August 12. Many of the participants with disabilities in this program had never experienced this type of activity and were thrilled to have been given the opportunity. The trip evaluation supported this sentiment, as all of the participants stated that they enjoyed themselves, developed skills and abilities, and would attend the activity if it were to be offered again.


Though not everyone was able to catch a fish, all enjoyed the challenge. One participant was heard saying that the spot by Bear Creek was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. I concur with this assessment and believe that would be difficult to find a more peaceful, scenic locale.


As a staff member seeking to offer positive experiences to people with disabilities. I appreciated many aspects of this joint acvtivity. First and foremost, the staff at Cross D Bar was amongst the most endearing that I have come across in my travels. Staff was eager to assist our participants with casting, baiting,  untangling of the fishing lines or whatever else was necessary.


Another highlight of the activity was the accessible accommodations that existed. The wide outdoor restroom with a ramp was well equipped for all of our participants, including those in wheelchairs. The presence of benches around the lake allowed individuals to sit and relax and not become as tired as they otherwise would.


Thank you, the wonderful people at Cross D Bar, for providing the experience that you did for those involved in our program. We certainly would like to come back for a return visit next year in the years beyond. Please keep us in mind and keep up the good work.


Happy fishing,



Brian J. Kates

Program Coordinator

City of Colorado Springs Therapeutic Recreation Program




Dear Dick,



I wanted to express our Thanks for the invitation to the 17th annual trout fishing trip to Westcliffe. This year our agency was able to bring 14 individuals with varing disabilities. For some it was their first time fishing and others a time to revisit and remember why they love fishing and how much fun it is. We had a great day.


The opportunity allows those we serve a chance to get outside of their own neighborhoods and meet new people (the volunteers were all fabulous). We got to see the beautiful Colorado Mountains and a chance to not only fish but the opportunity of success as fish were caught. The excitement was contagious as every one gathered around to congratulate, measure and take pictures. The learning will continue for some as they chose to bring their catches home to eat.


Thank you again for the great time. We will anxiously look forward to the next trip.



Christine Gardner





Dear Dick,




Thank you so much for hosting the free fishing day for area nursing homes. Our residents had sucn a wonderful time, even those that didn't catch any fish! The staff there was most helpful and friendly and this year we couldn't  have ordered more beautiful weather!



Thank you again,



Pat Massey

Activity Director

Progressive Care Center




When you give today, your gift is used immediately to help disabled persons receive access to outdoor recreation activities.  Here's how your donation is used:

$500 - Sponsors a disabled person - and his/her family - for a full week at the ranch.

$100 - Sponsors a disabled person  - and his/her family - for a full day at the ranch.

$50 - Sponsors a disabled person for a full day at the ranch.

$25 - Sponsors a disabled person for a half-day at the ranch. 

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