Annie’s House to help wounded warriors

BOTTINEAU Annie’s House at Bottineau Winter Park is reaching out to help wounded warriors.

Annie’s House is the new visitor center at Bottineau Winter Park that also is a yearround adaptive recreational facility. The park is located in the Turtle Mountains about 10 miles north of Bottineau.

“We’re going to move forward this year to the wounded warrior program,” Brad Knudson, park general manager, told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee. He spoke at the group’s meeting Oct. 10 in the Grand Hotel, Minot.

He said Annie’s House received its first donation about two months ago from an area Veterans of Foreign Wars group. The group gave them $2,000 for a scholarship fund for wounded warriors. The scholarships will be for wounded warriors who otherwise can’t afford to attend the program and will cover their travel and other expenses for the program.

Besides North Dakota, Annie’s House will be reaching out to wounded warriors in several other states, Knudson said. The focus will be on wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Knudson said adaptive equipment is very expensive, and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has given $8,400 to buy equipment to get the program started.

He said the North Dakota Legislature added a $200,000 grant to Bottineau Winter Park to provide the salary for the program director for the next two years, additional equipment updates and program expenses.

Annie’s House, built by hundreds of volunteers for everyone including those with disabilities and wounded warriors, is a one-level, 11,500-square-foot facility. The visitor center has quiet rooms for families, showers and other features designed for those with disabilities.

Annie’s House was built in memory of Ann Nicole Nelson, originally from Stanley. Nelson was one of the North Dakotans who died Sept. 11, 2001, in the terrorist attacks in New York City.

Knudson said they hope to have an adaptive program director in place by Dec. 1.

Annie’s House also is in need of volunteers to help with the wounded warriors program and other programs during the four seasons.

For more about Annie’s House at Bottineau Winter Park visit (www.skibwp.com/anniespage.htm) or call the park office at 263-4556.