Off to New Adventures:
Goodbye to a Good Friend
Challenge Mountain’s Richard “Dickie” Katz, longtime Facilities Manager for the non-profit organization, retired in October 2023 after nearly 20 years of service. He started as a volunteer at the Lodge on Saturdays in the winter driving snowmobiles and fixing equipment and quickly moved into his managerial role.
Katz was good at making sure that grounds were maintained, equipment was running and buildings were ready for participants. Katz was also our go-to guy when we needed help with our outdoor activities. He could be counted on for loading and unloading adaptive equipment to adventures near and far — from adaptive biking along Spring Lake Bike Path to kayaks on Walloon Lake. “Dickie was like our personal McGyver,” shares Program Director Linda Armstrong.
Dickie Katz was more than a valued employee: He was a loyal supporter of our participants, and a tireless cheerleader for their success, always helping participants reach their personal best, with a smile, a high-five, or a thumbs up. Dickie knew how to lend support to a participant who needed it, or pose a challenge to a participant who was ready for it.
We will never forget Dickie’s challenge to a young girl who was attending a Char-Em ISD adaptive biking program at Boyne Falls School. She lacked the confidence needed to try biking on her own. As an incentive, Dickie offered her an ice cream if she would give it a try. Within a short time, she was independently riding an adaptive bike, smiling ear-to-ear. (Watch a short video of Dickie sharing the full story.)
Richard “Dickie” Katz lived the Challenge Mountain vision, and in the process, made an impact on hundreds of our participants. We offer our sincere thanks for a job well done, and we wish him every happiness as he enters his well-deserved retirement.
ABOUT CHALLENGE MOUNTAIN
Challenge Mountain is a non-profit 501c3 organization with Tax ID 38-2563815.
Started in 1984, Challenge Mountain removes barriers and supports social inclusion through adaptive recreation for children, youth and adults living with physical and cognitive disabilities. Activities include adaptive skiing and biking, nature and cultural activities, art programs, equine therapy and numerous other life-enriching programs.