People of All Abilities Find a Healthy Outlet through Physical Activity

Nearly $300,000 in Grants Awarded to Nonprofits in Onondaga & Madison counties

October 1, 2018—Tennis is a sport loved by many, yet it isn’t always accessible for people of all ages or abilities. A grant awarded to Move Along by the Central New York Community Foundation will soon make this fun and dynamic sport accessible to all.

Move Along began providing adaptive sports opportunities in Central New York when it founded the Syracuse Flyers wheelchair basketball team in 1979. Since then, the organization has provided adaptive sports programming in cycling, aquatics, sled hockey and strength training. Move Along states that having the right equipment for its programs helps to maximize the participants’ experience and enjoyment while ultimately leading to better engagement in the sports.

Research conducted by Move Along has found that when a person becomes disabled by an injury or health issue, they become less likely to engage in recreation and stay active. The organization has witnessed first-hand that when individuals engage in physical activity, they gain skills of self-confidence, self-reliance and independence, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

“When a participant sees that they are defined by their ability and not their disability, the whole world opens back up to them,” said Jeff Wright, executive director of Move Along. “When they engage in adaptive sports they begin to see the endless possibilities for the future.”

The Community Foundation’s $8,500 grant will allow Move Along to purchase tennis wheelchairs and equipment to launch it’s first-ever tennis program.

“Move Along’s new programming will ensure people with disabilities have the resources to fulfill their personal dreams and aspirations, live healthy lives, and have access to sport and recreation outlets that meet their diverse needs,” said Danielle Gill, director of community grantmaking at the Community Foundation. “We’re excited that our funding will help Move Along maximize the participants’ experience in its adaptive activities.”

The tennis program, which will launch in the spring, is being structured to teach, develop and spread interest of the game across the community. Participants will learn unique drills that cater to each aspect of the sport including teamwork, mobility, groundstrokes, serving and volleying.

“We believe that everyone should have access to recreational opportunities in their community,” said Wright. “We embrace this goal by providing inclusive recreational opportunities for all community members regardless of their ability, race, religion or sexual preference.”

The Community Foundation awarded the following $281,532 in grants to local nonprofit organizations:

Chadwick Residence received $4,000 to hire a part-time Resident Advisor to facilitate weekly house meetings for homeless women to learn independent living skills.

Chenango Nursery School received $10,000 to launch a music program for children that includes singing, movement and instrumental play.

CNY Chapter, National Railway Historical Society received $35,000 to restore a historical railroad caboose to protect it from further deterioration.

Erie Canal Museum received $30,000 to hire a full-time museum educator to increase its capacity to provide arts education to local children and visitors of the museum.

LAUNCH CNY received $25,000 to purchase furniture that will accommodate its growing staff and client base.

Oneida Area Day Care Center received $15,000 to replace its roof to protect classrooms from future leakage and mold that pose a danger to children.

Redhouse Arts Center received $42,500 to hire a technical director to help manage all three of its theaters effectively.

Orenda Springs Experiential Learning Center received $31,532 to purchase a new tractor that will allow for year-long use and more easily maintain its 140 acres of property.

Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union received $70,000 to convert its core information management system to a more affordable, robust and efficient platform.

Move Along received $8,500 to purchase wheelchair accessible tennis equipment for people of all abilities to participate in adaptive sports.

The Partnership for Community Development received $10,000 to produce marketing materials to help increase membership and program offerings in the Hamilton area.

These grants were awarded by the following field-of-interest funds, administered by the Community Foundation:

Shirley M. Aubrey, William D. Barnet Memorial Scholarship, Charles F. Brannock, Community, M. Harold & Frances M. Dwyer, Educational Endowment, Leo & Natalie Jivoff, Marjorie D. Kienzle, Lewis-Trinity, John F. Marsellus, Donald W. Ryder and Small Grants funds.

The Central New York Community Foundation was established in 1927 to serve as a permanent community endowment built by the gifts and charitable legacies of individuals, families and businesses for the betterment of the region. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of more than $272 million. It has invested more than $190 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time.  Its vision is to create a vibrant Central New York community that provides opportunity for everyone and builds a hopeful, prosperous region for future generations.

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