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 Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Support of SRU Continues 



Jan. 5, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-728-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- An award of $15,000 marks the third consecutive year the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation has provided a grant to support Slippery Rock University’s efforts at improving the lives of those with spinal cord injury.

           The Quality of Life grant will support health and wellness workshops beginning when SRU hosts the 2005 National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Feb. 26-28, and continuing throughout the year.

Workshops will provide physical activity, health, wellness and sport competition tips targeting girls and young women with spinal cord injury, as well as young men, said Dr. Robert Arnhold, coordinator of SRU’s adapted physical activity minor. He also directs SRU’s Center on Disability and Health, which will spearhead activities.

Community outreach

 SRU students will also lead workshops at local high schools and health agencies. 

 In 2003 and 2004, the foundation gave SRU $23,265 and $20,000 tuition grants, respectively, for students with spinal cord injury who enroll in the adapted physical activity minor. The latest project utilizes three Christopher Reeve scholars to serve as mentors to those with similar disabilities by leading the workshops.

“This puts our students in a leadership role,” Arnhold said. “We will be able to accomplish a great deal.”

Variety of applications

          Students in the 27-credit adapted physical activity minor work in a variety of settings, including equestrian therapy, aquatics physical education and fitness. The program builds leadership skills, advocacy and professionalism, Arnhold said.

          The Quality of Life Program was conceived by Dana Reeve, wife of the late actor, to support programs that improve the daily lives of people living with disabilities, especially spinal cord injuries. The foundation is based in Springfield, N.J.

           Reeve, best known for playing the role of Superman, fractured his spine in a 1995 equestrian accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. He later formed the foundation in his name and became a tireless advocate for spinal cord research. He died in 2004.

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