The U.S. Olympic Committee and the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded more than $2 million in grants to 97 organizations — including three based in Colorado Springs — in support of Paralympic sports and physical activity programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
Grants were awarded to the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department; the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and USA Volleyball, which are both based in Colorado Springs.
Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and were awarded to USOC partner organizations to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically and visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympics sports programs.
“This funding is helping to meet the need for Paralympics and adaptive sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces in communities across the country,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “At the London 2012 Paralympics Games, there were 20 veterans and service members on the U.S. team who accounted for a total of 13 U.S. medals. We hope to build on that success at the elite level as well as continue to grow the number of veterans participating in Paralympics and adaptive sport at the grassroots level moving forward.”
The Colorado-Wyoming chapter of the National MS Society honored its outstanding volunteers for their contributions and service during its recent 53rd annual meeting. The honorees were selected from a pool of 1,500 volunteers who donated nearly 26,500 hours of service in 2012.
Area awardees: Robin Rivard, Canon City, Programs Volunteer of the Year for her contributions to growing the Fremont and Custer County Self-Assist and Social group and her planning and support of the successful Hike MS Royal Gorge; Joe Solano, Canon City, Special Events Volunteer of the Year for his logistical support of Walk MS Colorado Springs and Walk MS Pueblo; and Kevin Vogt, Colorado Springs, Mission Advocate Award for ensuring the disability community as a whole is being considered and addressed through city and county policy work. Vogt also serves as a community action liaison for the Society and the local Independence Center.