Press Conference: Upsee Harness to Help Wheelchair Athletes Walk and Compete in Games for the Physically Challenged

Roosevelt, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was joined today by generous sponsors and student athletes from the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County as he announced that his administration has once again raised the private sector…

Press Conference:  Upsee Harness to Help Wheelchair Athletes Walk and Compete in Games for the Physically Challenged

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Roosevelt, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was joined today by generous sponsors and student athletes from the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County as he announced that his administration has once again raised the private sector donations needed to host the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged from May 28th through May 30th. With the support of private-sector donations, County Executive Mangano began saving the Games in 2011 after New York State eliminated funding for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged.

“This year brings new excitement as wheelchair athletes will now use Upsee Harnesses to walk and compete in the Games for the first-time while standing upright,” said County Executive Mangano. “The young student athletes who are able to participate in the weekend of events are truly inspirational to watch. As they cross the finish line, you see the smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes. Thanks to the support of generous sponsors, these wonderful children have the ability to compete with their friends from across the State, share their stories and build friendships that will last a lifetime.”

With the general support of corporations such as Property Tax Reduction Consultants, this year’s Gold Medal sponsor, athletes will compete in track, field, slalom, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis. Participants, ranging from ages 5 to 21, face disabilities including blindness, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, spinal cord injured, amputees and those who have cerebral palsy, dwarfism and other physical challenges.

Sean Acosta, President of Property Tax Reduction Consultants, stated, “As the uncle of two amazing children with Autism, I can only begin to tell you the joy that comes to the hearts and minds of children when they participate in an activity they truly love. For that reason, my wife Debbie and I are proud to sponsor the Games for the Physically Challenged with a $30,000 donation from our company, Property Tax Reduction Consultants. We wish all our young athletes the best of luck.”

In its 31st year, the Games will take place in part due to contributions from King Kullen—America’s First Supermarket— who has been a long-time sponsor helping to feed the athletes, while Hofstra University has committed to housing the athletes with only minimal costs for maintenance. Nassau Community College is the venue hosting swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis events as well as the closing ceremonies. The Nassau County Department of Health and Medical Reserve Corp volunteers will once again work to provide onsite medical care and response during the games. In addition, NICE Bus will provide shuttle bus service for participants and has also generously donated $5,000 toward the Opening Ceremonies.

“The Games for the Physically Challenged are a wonderful opportunity for our community to celebrate achievement and to bring together young people from across New York State to compete in a great competition,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Hofstra University has a long history as a host for these games and we are pleased to continue this great tradition in partnership with Nassau County.”

“Nassau Community College is once again proud and privileged to be a host venue for the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. And as members of the Long Island community, we are indeed fortunate observers and well-wishers because the participants’ courage strengthens us, their indomitable spirit uplifts us, and their commitment to put forth their best efforts energizes us all,” said Acting President Kenneth K. Saunders, Nassau Community College.

“We’ve seen firsthand the joy and determination that surrounds this wonderful competition and the athletes who participate are an inspiration to us all. We’re excited to be a part of it again this year, and to be able to help make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Brian Edwards, Executive Vice President for Astoria Bank.”

“The New York Islanders are proud to support the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. The Games offer youth the opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities adapted to their unique abilities. These games bring not only hope but joy to all the athletes participating. We look forward to participating in this great sporting event,” said Ann Rina, Community Relations representative from the New York Islanders.

“It has been King Kullen’s honor and privilege to participate and be the food sponsor to ‘The Games’ all these years. We continue to be proud of such an admirable event for the athletes & their families,” said Jeff Prince, Director of Store Operations for King Kullen.

“The people at Transdev’s NICE bus operation love to get involved with the Gam

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