Youth Challenge receives grant for adapted sports equipment

Youth Challenge participant Andy DeJesus and volunteer Kendra Cundiff try out the new boccia equipment that was purchased thanks to a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

Youth Challenge has received a $3,200 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 84 grants totaling over $704,732 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

Youth Challenge used the grant money to purchase ramps and boccia balls to support its boccia team for children and young adults with physical disabilities. Boccia is the adapted form of bocce. YC boccia programs are designed for children and young adults with various physical disabilities to compete on a sports team, many for the first time. The athletes work together with teen volunteers as their sport assistants and take part in local and regional competitions.

“Youth Challenge is extremely grateful to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for supporting our boccia program,” said Mary Sue Tanis, YC founder and executive director. “This gift ensures that our players have the equipment necessary to be competitive in the sport.”

Grant requests were evaluated and scored based on a rigorous review process to determine funding for organizations that improve daily life for those living with paralysis, as well as their families and caregivers. Quality of Life grants focus on initiatives that engage and involve individuals with paralysis and their families in their community. With these initiatives, these organizations plan to help those living with paralysis assert their independence in the community.

Youth Challenge provides adapted sports and recreational opportunities to children with physical disabilities. Trained teen volunteers are paired one-on-one with participants to play, socialize and have fun. YC serves children throughout Northeast Ohio and has offices in Westlake and Shaker Heights. To learn more, visit, or call 440-892-1001.

Kathy Rigdon

Media Specialist for Youth Challenge in Westlake.

Read More on Local News
Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.01.2015