The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation presented a $25,000 grant to Desert Ability Center (DAC), which provides opportunities for people with disabilities and the community at large to engage in adaptive recreation and sports. The nonprofit shares its inventory of adaptive sports equipment, including sports wheelchairs, paracycles and transport trailers with local residents. This mission helps people of all abilities to live and play in their community alongside their families, friends and peers.
“Desert Ability Center provides people living with disabilities with specialized equipment, but there was still a missing element to transporting all of it,” said Judy May, Executive Director of Desert Ability Center. “The Coachella Valley Spotlight grant will allow us to purchase a van, which will take our organization and our clients, quite literally, to new heights.”
Knowing that Desert Ability Center was granted $25,000, Palm Springs Motors discounted a 2019 cargo van to exactly that cost and picked up all the additional fees. The same day the organization accepted the grant check from the Berger Foundation, DAC board members were ready to take it to the bank and take delivery of the new van.
“Desert Ability Center was in need of something very specific, so when they accepted the grant check, they already had the van selected, the deal negotiated, and were ready to put the grant money to work! I’d say that’s an immediate need filled,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “Presenting a grant and seeing an outcome like that is extremely gratifying.”
Desert Ability Center holds wheelchair tennis clinics for youth and adults with physical disabilities at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort every Sunday and paracycling clinics two times per month in La Quinta. Program Developer Mike Rosenkrantz is excited to announce that wheelchair basketball will be launching now that the organization has a van. DAC also transports the wheelchairs and other adaptive sports equipment to school sites throughout the Coachella Valley. Each year, Desert Ability Center engages about 600 participants in its annual weekend Ability Festival, which showcases a wide array of adaptive sports and equipment. The new van will support all of these programs by more easily transporting the large items.
“By giving people the opportunity to experience adaptive sports through their programs and equipment, Desert Ability Center enhances the lives of people with disabilities,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Desert Ability Center was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on kesq.com. For more information about Desert Ability Center, go to desertabilitycenter.org or call 760-674-7073.