In 1987 young Danny Burke and fourteen friends got together to do something that would make a difference in the quality of life for others. The goal: the construction of a ropes course that would challenge people of all abilities. To create awareness for the project and raise funds, they banded together to run as a team in the Cape Code Marathon.
It was a marathon for everyone! Spectators cheered them on, asked questions about Danny’s Team, gave them food and water…and gave them money for the ropes course. Twelve thousand dollars was raised!
It wasn’t over. Danny’s Team then participated in the actual building of the course at the University of New Hampshire. This hands-on experience and their work with all people who came to use the course brought more than satisfaction. With it came a greater sensitivity and understanding of what others faced and the knowledge that Danny’s Team had the power to do more. They had dared to make a difference…and they had. Why stop now?
The Cape Cod Marathon had done more than raise money. It had brought people together, confronting each of them with abilities and disabilities. The land miles, the camaraderie, and the unity of cause ignited compassion, trust and love. It became a beginning.
Danny’s Team continued to grow, widening its circle of projects and offering further opportunities for the physically disabled to participate in activities they once considered impossible. A day of parachute jumping gave everyone the opportunity to experience free falling and the ride to earth together.
A cross-country bicycle trip, the annual Nick Zyla Golf Tournament, coffee house performances and Christmas tree sales are some, but not all, of the events that keep Danny’s Team growing. Whatever event, whatever effort, the focus never changes-the commitment to “hands-on giving.”
Over the years Danny’s Team has helped many people with specials needs-a wheelchair for a young Bosnian girl; a sit-ski for Loon Mountain’s Handicapped Ski Program; seed money for Northeast Passage, a disabled sports and recreation organization; and financial support for a disabled hand cyclist who literally biked (hand cycled) around the world! These are just a few of the growing list of support efforts made possible by Danny’s Team.
"The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more."
Dr. Jonas Salk