Press Release

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (August 10, 2009) – Children living with a range of disabilities and complex health problems will benefit from over $38,000 in new grant funding awarded to Hospital for Special Care (HSC).

Funding from seven separate grants will support a range of activities for children. The following grants have been awarded:

A grant of $10,000 from the A. Lindsay Thomson Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will provide support for the Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center of Middletown. It is the only therapeutic riding center in New England wholly-owned and operated by a hospital. The center provides more than 80 children and adults living with cognitive and physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy equine-related activities and horseback riding for therapeutic, recreational, sport and educational purposes. The newest participants to the riding program are returning U.S. veterans coping with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) incurred through military service in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Ronald McDonald Charities of CT & Western Massachusetts and Ronald McDonald Charities Global have awarded $14,166 for the hospital's Garden of Hope initiative. Specifically, the funds will be directed to the construction of a "sensory room" designed to provide stimulation and sensory experiences to enable infants, toddlers and preschoolers to progress developmentally at a pace comparable to their non-hospitalized peers. In addition, Lego Children's Fund has awarded $5,687 to the Garden of Hope and the Cherish the Children Foundation of Glastonbury, CT has awarded $2,000.

Newman's Own Foundation has granted $5,000 to the Cruisers' Junior Wheelchair Track & Field Team, the only junior wheelchair track & field team in Connecticut for young, physically challenged athletes. The team competes regionally and nationally and currently holds several national records from the National Junior Disability Championships. Newman's Own Foundation is a private foundation established by the late actor Paul L. Newman.

Two grants, a $3,000 award from the Fisher Foundation of West Hartford, and a $500 award from the Youth Tennis Foundation, will benefit Special Care's Ivan Lendl Adaptive Sports Camp. The camp, held each summer at Saint Joseph's College in West Hartford, is offered free-of-charge to children ages 7 to 18 living with physical disabilities who are interested in developing athletic competence and mastery in a variety of sporting activities, from tennis to swimming. Former world tennis champion Ivan Lendl has presided over the camp since 1990, lending his name, reputation and hands-on expertise to the effort which has given hundreds of young athletes access to competitive sports.

Hospital for Special Care is the nation's only hospital providing complex rehabilitation and chronic care to children and adults living with spinal cord and brain injuries, neuromuscular conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), respiratory disease and other complex conditions.

For more information on the HSC grants program, please contact Sheila Hogan, Vice President, Hospital for Special Care Foundation, at 860.832.6257.