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For Immediate Release:
September 20, 2012

Media Contact:
Edith Torres


Jessica Azambuja


The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade Recieves $2,500 Grant From Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is proud to announce that it has received a $2,500 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to benefit Miami-Dade Parks Disability Services' Wheelchair Basketball Program - Miami Heat Wheels. The award was one of 69 grants totaling almost $425,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that aid in providing more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

Approximately 75% of the participants currently registered with Miami Heat Wheels are individuals with spinal cord injuries.  Miami Heat Wheels, made up of approximately 14 players, provides an opportunity for its recreational players to learn sport-specific skills, improve fitness levels, and help participants develop athletically.  The team, coached by Parnes Cartwright, compete at Florida Conference games and out-of-state, culminating at the NWBA National Championship Tournament.  Miami-Dade Parks is the only agency offering a wheelchair basketball program in Miami-Dade County.  Grant funding will help fund the team's coach.

"Thanks to the Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, we will be able to provide assistance to Miami-Dade Parks Disability Services wheelchair basketball program," said Dick Anderson, President of The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.  "It is our mission to help support recreational, health and wellness programs for the people in Miami-Dade County, most especially persons with disabilities, providing them with opportunities for fitness, sports, hobbies, and overall recreation.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program was conceived by the late Dana Reeve to address the myriad needs of children and adults with paralysis and other mobility impairments and their families. "The Reeve Foundation believes that each of the nearly six million Americans living with paralysis deserves access to the best programs and services available. 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," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Grants support critical life-enhancing and life-changing initiatives that improve physical and emotional health and increase independence.

About Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For more information visit Miami-Dade Parks or call 3-1-1.

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's effort to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.

About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving their 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, please visit Christpher Reeve.


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