As chairman of the American Supply Association’s Emerging Leaders division, I have been honored to have the opportunity to help raise funds for a wonderful program called Operation Rise & Conquer (ORC).

This program serves veterans, active military and first responders with disabilities by offering them exceptional outdoor recreation programs. ORC helps to empower and inspire these American heroes who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and safety.

Over the past few years, the Emerging Leaders team has mainly helped to raise funds for ORC through networking at our annual EMERGE meeting. EL is focused on cultivating leaders within the supply industry — and our annual event attracts industry leaders from across the country.

However, my EL colleagues and I recently came to the realization that this was not the best way to raise funds — so we have developed a customer-facing promotion to create more support for ORC nationally.

This is where businesses like yours can really make a difference. Supporting ORC is a great way to show that your business truly cares and gives back to the community in meaningful ways. Your business can get involved by setting a company fundraising goal, making a donation or simply encouraging your customers to get involved.

Please allow me to give you a little more background about ORC and the focus of the program. ORC was founded in 2013 through a collaboration between ASA and the Adaptive Sports Center. It was created to honor and assist veterans, active military and first responders — as well as their families — by offering activities ranging from adaptive skiing and snowboarding to biking, rock climbing and more. In addition to empowering participants in their daily lives, ORC has a positive and enduring effect on self-efficacy, health, independence and overall well-being.

Headquartered in Crested Butte, Colorado, ORC sends participants to the Adaptive Sports Center, which is a therapeutic recreation program that operates year-round. Participants typically have disabilities such as amputations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, visual impairments or neurological conditions. ORC allows these heroes to experience adventure-based activities and sports that they would otherwise be unable to enjoy.

It’s also important to note that the location of the Adaptive Sports Center is about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Fort Collins, Colorado, which is home to a huge military base. This provides ease of access for many disabled veterans, allowing them to participate in the program without having to travel far.

While I’m proud to support ORC, I would also like to point out how important it is for businesses to support organizations such as this. In my everyday job, I serve as executive vice president at Coburn Supply Co. Over the years, Coburn’s has made it a point to give back to the community while also upholding values such as honesty, family and stability. As a result of focusing on such values and community involvement, Coburn’s has built a sterling reputation and a large, loyal customer base.

By supporting Operation Rise & Conquer, your business will be making a statement about the importance of giving back to the community --- as well as showing our disabled heroes that they are not alone and that people truly care about their well-being.

It’s a great way to solidify your company’s image and bolster your brand, while also contributing to a wonderful cause.

That’s what I call a real win-win situation.

For more information about Operation Rise & Conquer and how you or your business can get involved, contact Development Director Allison Butcher at 970-349-2296, extension 107 or visit