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Sunshine Kids

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Tampa's Shadre Gaines rides up the gondola Wednesday. Shadre is recovering from brain surgery and was invited to come to Steamboat Springs for a ski vacation through the Sunshine Kids. Photo by Brian Ray

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Shadre Gaines takes a short break while skiing at Steamboat Ski Area. Photo by Brian Ray

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Guadalupe Sorchaga has a good laugh at the Steamboat Ski Area last year during the 2006 Sunshine Kids Winter Games. A new group of Sunshine Kids returned to Steamboat this year, but Guadalupe was not among them. The young teenager from Los Angeles passed away last year. Photo by John F. Russell

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Laura and Dennis Allaire love Steamboat Springs so much they purchased a second home here. Laura, a 1993 alum of the Sunshine Kids, jumped at the chance to come volunteer for last week's 20th annual Sunshine Kids Winter Games. Photo by Melinda Mawdsley

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Shadre Gaines, 15, sits and rests before instructor David Wickman straps her into George, a snow slider he uses to help those who struggle with balance and strength learn to ski. Photo by Brian Ray

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Instructor David Wikman gives Shadre Gaines a piece of hard candy to help moisten her mouth during a break on the Why Not ski run Wednesday. Shadre was one of 30 Sunshine Kids who visited Steamboat Springs last week. Photo by Brian Ray

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David Wikman, executive director of Steamboat Training Adaptive Recreational Sports, helps teach Shadre Gaines, 15, to ski by using George, a snow slider that givers an unstable skier balance and strength. Photo by Brian Ray

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David Wikman carries Shadre Gaines, 15, to the staging area for the 20th annual Sunshine Kids Winter Games held Friday at the Steamboat Ski Area. Shadre can walk but still is rebuilding leg muscle and balance after brain surgery in January 2006, so the hills at the ski area were tough for her to climb. Photo by Brian Ray

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David Wikman helps Shadre Gaines, 15, stand up at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. The two were participating in the 20th annual Sunshine Kids Winter Games held Friday. Photo by Brian Ray

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Shadre Gaines walks through the Sheraton Steamboat Resort with instructor David Wikman after a day on the slopes. Shadre, who had never skied before last week, said she was proud to be able to learn how. Photo by Brian Ray

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Children with the Sunshine Kids, instructors from the Steamboat Ski Area and business people from the community pose for a group shot after the 20th annual Sunshine Kids Winter Games. Photo by Melinda Mawdsley

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Shadre Gaines, right, smiles after receiving her medal for successfully competing in the 20th annual Sunshine Kids Winter Games. Instructor David Wikman, center, and Heidi Thomsen, Steamboat Ski Area spokeswoman, share in Shadre's big day Friday. Photo by Melinda Mawdsley

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