CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has received a $3,000 grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to purchase equipment for the university's wheelchair basketball club, OSU's only adapted sports club team.
"We couldn't be more excited," said Kerri Vanderbom, an OSU doctoral student in the movement studies in disability program and treasurer for the student-run club team. "With the Reeve Foundation's generous grant, we will be able to purchase three new sport wheelchairs."
Vanderbom, who was born with spina bifida, has been an active member of the team since its creation in 2008 by former students in the movement studies in disability program. A collegiate skier while completing her bachelor's degree at California State University-Chico, Vanderbom knows first-hand the benefits of team sports for all athletes.
"Participation empowers students with disabilities, enabling them to develop new skills, improve self-confidence, and help reach their personal potential," she explained. "The basketball team provides students with disability the opportunity to play in sports with friends, peers and other students without disabilities."
The team, which is open to disabled and able-bodied students alike, practices year around and participates in tournaments and games in the fall, winter and spring terms.
The award was one of 69 grants totaling almost $425,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide.
"The Reeve Foundation believes that each of the nearly six million Americans living with paralysis deserves access to the best programs and services available," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "The Quality of Life Grants Program supports other nonprofit organizations that not only believe in that same independence, but achieve great success in carrying out their programs' missions. We are honored to recognize these organizations which empower those affected by paralysis."
The contribution is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Guided by OSU's strategic plan, the campaign has raised more than $825 million of its $1 billion goal to provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon communities and conduct research that changes the world.
About the Reeve Foundation: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis, through grants, information and advocacy. For more information, and to review the entire list of Quality of Life grant recipients, visit the foundation website at www.ChristopherReeve.org.
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Kerri Vanderbom, 541-250-0139