Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports named finalist in 2023 'Defender Service Awards'

Vermont Business Magazine Continuing a legacy of humanitarian work, Defender has announced the finalists of the 2023 Defender Service Awards. Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a nonprofit organization offering sports and recreational programs year-round throughout Vermont for people with disabilities, has been selected as a finalist in the Outdoor Accessibility and Education Award, Presented by OUTSIDE Interactive Inc. 
Defender has always embraced the impossible, opening new horizons for humanitarian work on every continent. In the third annual “Defender Service Awards” presented by CHASE, which embraces the Defender inner spirit of heroism and recognizes those who embody this, the 25 U.S. non-profits and Canadian registered charities are recognized for making a positive impact in their local communities and embodying the ethos of Defender as a beacon of liberty. 
“We are honored to be a finalist with the five other nonprofits in our category for this prestigious award,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director at Vermont Adaptive. “Our goal is to ensure we can get as many people as we can into the outdoors to play and recreate. Some of those locations are remote here in Vermont. Adding a Land Rover Defender to our fleet of vehicles will allow us to tow our adaptive equipment into underserved, rural communities, offering the opportunity for everyBODY to explore and enjoy the outdoors. Thank you to Defender, CHASE, and OUTSIDE Interactive Inc. for making these opportunities possible.”
Capability to navigate further, capacity to transport more people and the spirit to achieve more are what is in store for the ultimate winners of the Defender Service Awards. The six winning organizations will each receive a fully customized Defender 130 and awarded $25,000 by their category sponsor, empowering them to further their respective missions. 
Featuring three rows of seating for up to eight people, along with 88.9 cubic feet (2,516 liters) of load capacity, the Defender 130 will empower these organizations on their mission of service. The winners will collaborate with the Defender team to fully outfit their vehicle with robust Defender accessories, required to meet the challenges of the organization’s mission, along with a custom exterior vehicle wrap. 
Public voting will take place from Friday, Sept. 15, through Wednesday, Oct. 4, to determine the ultimate winners of the six categories of the 2023 Defender Service Awards. To view the finalist videos and vote, please visit Defender Service Awards at
Corporate partners have joined this initiative to provide further support for the respective organizations across the different categories. CHASE, as presenting sponsor, will donate $5,000 to each of the five finalists per category, for a total of $150,000. As a Premier Sponsor, Warner Bros. Discovery will contribute $75,000, awarding $2,500 to each of the category finalists. Category sponsors include OUTSIDE Interactive Inc., ei3, PELICAN, Hearts & Sciences and ANIMAL PLANET and will donate $25,000 to the ultimate winners.  
“Through their compassionate acts of service and integrity, it is with great honor that we recognize these organizations that embody the heroism of Defender,” said Charlotte Blank, US chief marketing officer, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “The Defender ethos is centered around achieving the impossible with a focus on giving back, and these organizations are nothing short of that. We are proud to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and dedication to their missions.” 
The finalists across five categories are:  
Animal, Wildlife and Marine Mammal Welfare Award, Presented by Animal Planet 

Veterans and Civil Servant Outreach Award, Presented by Hearts & Science 

Community Service Award, Presented by ei3 

Search, Rescue and Emergency Services Award, Presented by Pelican 

Outdoor Accessibility and Education Award, Presented by OUTSIDE Interactive Inc 

A sixth category has been added to the 2023 Defender Service Awards, celebrating 2021 and 2022 Defender Service Awards Honorees. Over 20 previous awards finalists resubmitted their entries for this category, with all going direct for public vote. Their heroism and service to their communities is commendable and this award category provides a second chance for them to win a new Defender 130. 
The winning organization from each category will be announced at this year’s Defender Service Awards at Destination Defender, presented by CHASE. Encouraging participants to embrace the impossible, the weekend celebration will take place from Nov. 10-12 at Iron Horse Ranch in Somerville, Texas and will feature Defender experiences that channel the adventurous spirit of the brand. 
To learn more about the 2023 Defender Service Awards, please visit 

About Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. In addition to sports, year-round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Sports and recreational opportunities include alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, Veterans programs and retreats, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve athletes from all over the world at three winter locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton, as well as statewide in a variety of locations including the Burlington waterfront during the summer and warmer months. For more information, visit

About Defender
Defender embraces the impossible. Each member of the Defender family is purposefully designed, highly desirable and seriously durable. A modern-day hero that respects the past but at the same time anticipates the future.
Available in 90, 110 and 130 body styles, with up to eight seats, each has a charisma of its own.
A beacon of liberty since 1948, Defender supports humanitarian and conservation work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Tusk Trust.
The Defender brand is underpinned by Land Rover – a mark of trust built on 75 years of expertise in technology and world-leading off-road capability.
Defender is designed and engineered in the UK and sold in 121 countries. It belongs to the JLR house of brands alongside Range Rover, Discovery and Jaguar.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports

PO Box 139

Killington, VT 05751-0139