JUNE 2010
                                        

‘Plastics Make it Possible’ helps raise nearly $50,000 for athletes

To celebrate the achievements of athletes that competed in the 2010 Paralympic Games and all athletes with disabilities, Plastics Make it Possible, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, helped raise nearly $50,000 for Athletes with Disabilities Network (ADN), a partner with Easter Seals – Michigan, which provides services and mentorship for disabled athletes across the country.

During March and April, people across the United States visited the Plastics Make it Possible website and Facebook page to make donations to ADN and help inspire athletes with disabilities to become future Paralympians. Plastics Make it Possible then matched dollar-for-dollar the $23,291 that was raised through corporate and private donations, for a total gift of $46,582 to ADN.

“We are thrilled to have raised money for an organization like Athletes with Disabilities Network to help inspire a whole new generation of athletes,” said Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. “From carbon fiber technology used for shock absorption to custom-fitted sockets made from resilient polyethylene and polypropylene, plastics are a vital part of the innovative, active prostheses that are used by many disabled athletes in the sports they typically enjoy. This is a wonderful demonstration of how plastics are being used in innovative ways to help make people’s lives better.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.7 million amputees in the United States, many of whom rely on active and sports-grade prostheses to keep fit and stay healthy. These prostheses have been revolutionized by plastic materials that help make them stronger, lighter and more flexible, and to function more like natural limbs. These high-tech prosthetic devices are being used by Paralympic athletes and by many non-competing amputees who want to continue to live an active lifestyle.

“We’ve seen firsthand how innovations in plastics used in active prostheses have helped athletes to not only overcome the trauma of limb loss, but flourish in competitive events like our own Extremity Games,” said Elizabeth Taylor, executive director of ADN. “The donations made through this program will help many athletes continue to compete in the sports they love.”

Established in 2009, ADN promotes a better quality of life by creating opportunities for people with physical disabilities. ADN operates and organizes the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame, the only Hall of Fame completely dedicated to honoring individuals with disabilities for sport and recreation achievement, and Extremity Games, an international extreme sports competition for athletes living with limb loss or limb difference.