Before talking with anyone in the Wintergreen community about her plans, last fall Christy McCloud sought out and found a house near the end of Laural Springs Drive for what she wanted to do. Then she convinced the owners to donate the house to her new nonprofit, Adipsy.
McCloud knew all too well that Wintergreen was the perfect site for Adipsy's first major project.
It was her little vacations at Wintergreen which gave McCloud's family a break from the trauma and drama of her 19-year-old daughter's fight with brain cancer. "It was a great distraction," she recalls. "There is so much to do at Wintergreen in the summer." That battle was ten years ago and her daughter is now cancer-free, but since Christy and others in her family had fought cancer as well, there was no forgetting.
In the clinics and hospitals with other parents and children fighting the disease, McCloud could not forget having seen the need for some kind of organization where others could have some of the R&R that proved a powerful boost for her family.
Now Adipsy (the name is an archaic form of Greek meaning medicine) has started bringing cancer patients and their families to Wintergreen. McCloud says her organization is getting "an amazing amount of support, more than we dared dream," from many in the Wintergreen community.
The Wintergreen Sporting Club was the first community group Adipsy met here. Adipsy had a group of fathers of families dealing with cancer on a spring retreat at their Wintergreen house and there was interest in going target shooting.
Calls were made and they found Ron Cote', the lead of the WSC pistol and rifle group. He put together a special event to take the men shooting. Cote' was impressed by what he saw of Adipsy's program and recommended the club work with the group.
After McCloud met with the sporting club's board in May, WSC President John Tani appointed Cote' to lead a formal effort to work with the Chesapeake, Va.-based nonprofit. "This might entail taking some of their families along with us when we shoot; helping them fish on the ponds; providing golfing partners; or coaching and practice at our regular archery sessions," says Tani. "There is no money involved; just a helping hand."
From their contacts with the Wintergreen Sporting Club leadership, Christy McCloud and her husband Bill learned of the Wintergreen Mountain Homesteaders, became members of the community group, attending the Homesteaders' Seafood Night in June.
Christy McCloud also attended a Wintergreen Mountain Women meeting and was asked to speak about Adipsy. After the meeting several offered assistance and a discussion was started with one homeowner about donating their Wintergreen house to Adipsy. "I was overwhelmed," recalls McCloud.
Wintergreen Adaptive Sports and Adipsy are starting to collaborate. "One major way we are similar is both groups serve the entire family, not just the person with the medical issues," notes Executive Director Dave Shreve. WAS will be using Adipsy's house at Wintergreen to house people this coming winter during their Wounded Warrior program.
"Christy brings a lot of energy her project, but she is bringing in others that share her passion and also have expertise," Shreve says.
"They are being smart. They are moving carefully, but they are making big, ambitious plans," Shreve adds, noting that the Adipsy families visiting in the winter will be welcomed at WAS.
Those interested in working with Adipsy can email Christy McCloud at email@example.com or call her at 757-436-0697. The group is especially interested in hearing from Wintergreen property owners who are interested in sharing their vacation homes with Adipsy families.
Families and groups seeking Adipsy's services can apply online, but most are referred by doctors or treatment centers. Adipsy's staff screens the applicants with the help of the family's medical service providers.