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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

NAC Co-founder Honored by Dalai Lama

May 24, 2009

Meeche White one of 49 Unsung Heroes of Compassion in the world
National Ability Center
May 23, 2009

Park City, Utah -- Twenty-five years after
founding the National Ability Center (NAC) in
Park City, Utah, Meeche White was honored by the
Dalai Lama as an Unsung Hero of Compassion last month in San Francisco.

White was present two years ago when Paralympian
Chris Waddell received the same honor. This time,
it was her turn to meet the Dalai Lama.

"It was truly an honor to have an opportunity to
shake the Dalai Lama’s hand," White said after
the event. "He’s an amazing man."

White, who stepped aside as the CEO of the NAC
last fall, was one of two individuals from Park
City to be honored. She founded what was known as
Park City Handicapped Sports in 1985 with her
husband at the time. Their idea was to provide
ski lessons to veterans with physical
disabilities. That first season they taught 45
lessons. This past season the NAC taught more
than 5,000 ski lessons and thousands more in
programs like horseback riding, sled hockey,
cycling, water skiing and swimming. Thousands of
people have had their lives changed for the
better through the NAC’s programs and White’s efforts in the last two decades.

White’s work was not limited to Utah or even the
United States. She took the first ever trip with
the Special Olympics ski program to Europe, and
helped build other adaptive recreation programs
in Thailand, Spain, Italy, Korea, Austria and Chile.

White was one of 49 individuals from 13 countries
who were chosen for being highly compassionate.

"These individuals have been selected as
representatives of the tens of thousands of
people worldwide who quietly serve the
disenfranchised and work to improve our
communities through their personal efforts,” said
event chair Dick Grace, founder of Grace Family
Vineyards and board chair of Wisdom in Action,
the organization hosting the unique celebration.
“We don’t see them or hear about them in the
daily news, but they exemplify a humanism and
heroism to which we must each aspire.”

White said the event was both humbling and overwhelming.

"Of course meeting with the Dalai Lama is always
an amazing experience," she said. "It’s so overwhelming at the time."

Now that she has had a chance to look back on the
experience, White’s thoughts have shifted to the
uniqueness of having been honored by the Dalai
Lama while so many people love and honor him.

"It’s very humbling because he’s an amazing man," she said.
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