Applications Being Accepted for The Adam R. Barnhart Inclusive Athlete Fund

Adam in O's jacket

The Adam R. Barnhart Inclusive Athlete Fund is accepting applications funding cycle now through August 31st at 11:59pm. Created by family, in memory of the late Adam Barnhart, the fund’s founders understands high costs of adaptive sports equipment and other expenses related to accessing and participating in sports-related programming.

They believe that the lack of resources should not keep individuals with an intellectual, and/or developmental disability from an inclusive and active life.

Opportunities supported must be for individuals with intellectual or development disabilities (IDD) and individuals must live in Washington County, Maryland. Applicants themselves may be representatives of the individual(s) in need.

DEADLINE: August 31st, 11:59pm

Born in 1995, Adam R. Barnhart grew up in Washington County, Maryland, with two brothers, Michael and Andrew. At the age of 3, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and a developmental disability. Leg braces and wheelchairs quickly became a familiar and necessary part of his life. Machines to assist with breathing stood by his bed and eventually his body gave way to a deteriorating muscular system. He passed away at the age of 25 in 2020.

“With his teammates and his coaches, the unified athlete experience created the space and place for Adam and other disabled athletes to be out of the stands and in the game. This fund in Adam’s memory will act as a catalyst for building more bonds between abled and disabled individuals in non-segregated athletic activities,” says his proud mother JoEllen Barnhart, Ph.D.

From an early age, Adam loved sports. He participated in Challenge League bowling and baseball. From his wheelchair, Adam summoned his fragile muscles to throw a baseball with accuracy across home plate. A fan of professional and collegiate baseball, he dreamed, learned and cheered like all adoring fans.

“Adam was a staple in the Special Olympics Unified Sports during his high school career and quietly relished in the pride that being a part of team gave him. During his wheelchair runs on the Unified Track 4 x 100 relay team, Adam, enjoyed driving his chair as fast as possible. To him, it felt like running and he loved to feel the wind in his face. The connections to his Unified Sports track and bocce team mates at North Hagerstown High contained a bond connected by comradery, joy, and bravery in the experience,” Barnhart shares.