( BW)(DC-PVA) PVA Secures Grant To Further Expand Wilderness Access for Physically Challenged Outdoor Enthusiasts

Sports Editors/Health/Medical Writers

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2003--Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) announced today that its program of donating adaptive equipment to help people with disabilities enjoy outdoor recreational activities has secured additional funding.
PVA received a $44,000 grant from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA), through funding provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Joseph L. Fox, Sr., PVA national president, stated: "It's very gratifying that the IAFWA and the Fish and Wildlife Service have determined that PVA's outdoors accessibility program is worthy of their support. We all agree that our natural resources are a gift to be preserved and enjoyed by all Americans, including those who have a disability."
"Land managers must seek innovative ways to provide greater access to hunting, fishing, wildlife photography and a host of other wildlife-related activities to the more than 50 million disabled people who live in this country," said Steve Williams, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Working with the PVA, an excellent example of a service organization, along with taking the initiative to partner with the states, will help us find practical ways to bring disabled people closer to the great outdoors."
The check presentation took place in the office of Rep. "Chip" Pickering (R-Miss.). "PVA's commitment to physically-challenged hunters in Mississippi reminds us of our shared responsibility both to the outdoors and more so to one another. Improving access to the outdoors for all sportsmen is critical to preserving and strengthening our hunting traditions. I know the users of the Huntmaster stands will appreciate the opportunity they have to engage in hunting activities, just as I appreciate PVA's gift to Mississippi hunters," said Pickering, former chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.
"We commend the Paralyzed Veterans of America for their active role in successfully addressing the needs of physically challenged outdoor enthusiasts and assisting state fish and wildlife agencies in increasing participation of physically challenged individuals in outdoor activities," stated John Baughman, IAFWA's executive vice president. "Their programs are a showcase for veterans and all outdoor enthusiasts across the country."

Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease. PVA is a dynamic, broad-based organization with more than 20,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about PVA, visit its web site at http://www.pva.org.


CONTACT: Paralyzed Veterans of America
David J. Uchic, 202/416-7667

SOURCE: Paralyzed Veterans of America