Arizona Bridge to Independent Living Receives $500,000 Grant From the Kresge Foundation for the Completion of the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center

Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), Arizona's largest center for independent living serving people with disabilities, is proud to announce that it has received a $500,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, completing the organization's $12.5 million capital campaign for the building of the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields of interest: arts and culture, community development, education, the environment, health, and human services. Working with grantees, the Foundation endeavors to improve the life circumstances and opportunities for poor, disadvantaged and marginalized individuals, families, and communities

The 45,000-square-foot sports, fitness and aquatics center will be the first of its kind in the western United States and is scheduled to open in early October 2011.

The sports and fitness center will have a wide variety of resources and services available. Some of the highlights include:
 Spacious and accessible sports courts
 A runner's track
 Accessible pools
 Fitness and training equipment designed for persons with disabilities
 Accessible locker rooms, showers and dressing areas for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

"Our board of directors is grateful for the support of the Kresge Foundation and is pleased that we have successfully completed our capital campaign," said Phil Pangrazio, president and chief executive officer of ABIL. "The Sports and Fitness Center will open as scheduled in early October and we look forward to bringing this one-of-a-kind facility to the Phoenix area."

Serving the disability community since 1981, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living offers and promotes programs designed to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. For more information, please visit www.abil.org.