HCN News & Notes

Grant Improves Recreational Opportunities for Children with Disabilities

SPRINGFIELD — The ATI Foundation will present CHD’s Disability Resources program with a $5,000 check on Monday, April 16 at 11 a.m. at ATI Physical Therapy, 300 Birnie Ave., Springfield. The time was changed from the previously announced time of 10:30 a.m.

CHD’s Disability Resources offers barrier-free recreational and competitive opportunities for people of all skill levels and age groups, as well as their family and friends. The program emphasizes access and ability. Rock climbing, waterskiing, sled hockey, dance, wheelchair basketball, and other programs and services designed for individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities are offered to more than 500 children, teenagers, and young adults each year.

“For those we serve, this funding will mean more physical exercise, improved physical abilities, greater self-esteem, peer interaction, and social skills,” said Kimberle Lee, vice president of CHD’s Development Office. “It’s an incredible experience to witness the increased self-confidence, self-direction, and independence of our program participants when they make it to the top of a rock wall, make a three-pointer, or score the winning goal in a game of sled hockey. Funding from the ATI Foundation is making all of those experiences real for our children, youth, and adults. The impact is lifelong.”

According to Sharon Franceschini from the ATI Foundation, when the possibility of funding CHD’s Disability Resources program was presented, it was a quick decision.

“The CHD Disabilities Resources program was brought to our attention by the therapists and staff who live and work in the Greater Springfield community,” she said. “The mission of the ATI Foundation is directly aligned with what CHD’s Disabilities Resources is doing for kids every day. We are thrilled to support the Springfield community in this way and hope that the resources make a big difference in the lives of physically impaired children for years to come.”

Representatives from the ATI Foundation, ATI Physical Therapy, CHD, as well as program participants and their families are expected to attend Monday’s check presentation.

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