Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Presents Grant For Ryan Gray Playground

September 6, 2016

Lawrence Schools Foundation Receives $12,200 Grant From Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation For Ryan Gray Playground For All Children 
Lawrence Schools Foundation, in collaboration with the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children Steering Committee, is proud to announce that they have received a $12,200 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children. The award was one of 79 grants totaling over $575,704 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. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded over 2,700 grants totaling over $20 million since 1999. 
The grant will be used to purchase a piece of playground equipment for the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children renovation that allows people with and without paralysis or mobility impairments to play on together. “The purchase of this piece of equipment is key in ensuring the playground is accessible and, most of all, inclusive,” said Dana Lattin, Co-Chairperson of the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children Steering Committee.
The Lawrence Schools Foundation and the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children Steering Committee are deeply honored to be recipients of the Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant and are grateful for this funding and recognition for the renovation of the playground.  "The Lawrence Schools Foundation was pleased to be able to support this project for the Ryan Gray Playground, stated Dena Johnston, Executive Director of the Lawrence Schools Foundation. "This type of playground is a benefit to the entire community. Not only does it make play possible for the whole community - it promotes a shift in perspective and the vehicle to make a real impact for inclusivity."
The playground is in the final stages of renovation, and the public is invited to come play during the rededication celebration on October 1, 1-3pm on the grounds of Hillcrest Elementary School at 1045 Hilltop Dr.
Awarded twice yearly, 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. In this particular grant cycle, the grantee review board awarded a significant number of grants in medically underserved areas for modification projects, animal service programs and veteran programs.
“The Reeve Foundation is committed to supporting programs and resources that foster independent living, improved health and community engagement,” said Donna Valente, Director, Quality of Life Grants, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.  “By supporting these types of programs in underserved areas, we are able to remove barriers to independent living for individuals living with disabilities and their families.”
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program was created to address the myriad needs of children and adults living with paralysis, as well as provide assistance and education to their families and caregivers. Funded programs serve individuals living with paralysis caused by injuries, diseases or birth conditions, including but not limited to, stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The grants support innovative initiatives that aim to increase quality of life by improving physical and emotional health, broadening community engagement, and increasing independence. Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3001-01-00).
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (cooperative agreement number 90PR3002). For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-539-7309.
The mission of the Lawrence Schools Foundation is to enrich the education provided to all students by the Lawrence Public Schools. Through the generation and management of charitable gifts, it seeks to promote and enhance: a strong relationship between our community and the Lawrence Public Schools; effective early childhood education programs; innovative teaching and learning opportunities; recognition and development of educators; and encouragement of student achievement. The mission of the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children Steering Committee is to identify and secure resources to improve the quality and quantity of accessible play structures at the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children, and to ensure community members with accessibility needs are aware of its existence. Our vision is for all youth and families in our community to have an integrated and accessible playground for increasing their overall health and wellness.