Turning POINT

The National Chapter is the hub of Turning POINT activity, planning and hosting events and programs throughout the DFW Metroplex while providing support and guidance to the “satellite” chapters across Texas and the United States. Our first chapter, Gulf Coast, was started in 1993 and continues under the guidance of David Gaston in Galveston. Since then we have developed chapters in East Texas (Piney Woods) and North Carolina (Carolina). Due to unique interests in different locales, listed below are our Chapter locations and their specialties but not limited to:

Texas:
Gulf Coast (Galveston):  Hand Cycling, Fishing, Ocean Kayaking, Sailing, Shooting Sports
North Texas:  Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hand Cycling, Hunting, Kayaking, Shooting Sports
Piney Woods (Tyler): Archery, Hunting, Shooting Sports
 

North Carolina:
Carolina (Mooresville):  Fishing, Hunting, Shooting Sports, Waterskiing, Wheelchair Basketball

 

National Events:
32nd Annual National Bass Tournament, Caddo Lake -April 29, 2017
27th Annual Extravaganza, Bachman Recreation Center - June 3, 2017

Gulf Coast Chapter

David Gaston - Chapter Director - Gulf Coast Chapter

David Gaston

Chapter Director

P.O. Box 626
Bolivar, TX 77650
Phone: 409-939-4827

I was injured in a motorcycle accident on December 28, 1979, three weeks before my 21st birthday. I am an L1 paraplegic. Prior to my accident, I was a commercial Diver in the oilfield and was an avid water-skier, sailor, hunter and scuba diver. I decided in the hospital that one bad day was not going to ruin my life. Immediately upon release from the hospital I began diving, sailing, fishing and hunting again.

In 1982 I went back to school at TSTC in Waco. I received a Degree in marine electronics and avionics. While there, I also built three trikes, two being Harley Davidsons. I had a catamaran sail boat and small outboard fishing boat.

In late 1985 I was told about an organization called POINT and its founder, Shorty Powers. I was told we had a lot in common. So I drove up to Grapevine and met Shorty and Nance. At the time, I was on the verge of leaving Waco and moving back home to Port Bolivar. Soon after moving home again, Shorty began bringing people down to fish on Galveston Bay.

I had stayed active in outdoor recreation from the time of my accident but had only a couple of friends that were physically challenged. After realizing, from the people I had met through Shorty, just how shut-in many people with disabilities were - I really began to get excited about getting involved in adapted recreation.

"In 1987 I bought a commercial shrimp boat and did commercial shrimping, oystering and fishing for the next 4 years. After an exceptionally bad season in 1990 I stopped to visit Shorty at Caddo Lake on my way back from Wisconsin. I ended up staying in Uncertain, Texas for the next year and a half while helping with the Bingo and reorganizing POINT. This is where my interest in adapted recreation really took-off."

Upon moving back home I organized the first Sports Day at Moody Gardens, which has now continued for 20 years. We did quarterly events in conjunction with TIRR and Texas Adaptive Aquatics that still continue.  In 1996 Brent Novelli, Tom Rupacus, and I started the Gulf Coast Chapter of Turning POINT. We now do about 10 - 12 events per year. For three years from 1998-2000, I was a recreation specialist for the SURE project out of Beaumont. Two of the programs I started at this time are still continuing under Turning POINT.


Gulf Coast sponsors the annual Drum Tournament for the physically challenged, which was started 18 years ago as one of our earlier undertakings. We now sponsor the Sports Festivals at Moody Gardens, Don Allen Wildwood Sports Day, hand cycling, kayaking and hunting activities

"Our mission is to develop self-esteem and confidence in the physically challenged population through participation in adapted outdoor activities"