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11th Annual Kessler Foundation Wheelchair 10k
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Kessler Foundation 10k Attracts Athletes from Africa

WEST ORANGE, N.J.—The 11th Annual Kessler Foundation Wheelchair 10k, the
wheelchair division of the Fred d’Elia Ridgewood Run, will have its
first racers from Africa. Kessler Foundation is sponsoring two female
athletes from Ghana. Other athletes from the Ghanaian and Nigerian
National wheelchair racing teams are also expected to compete in the

To qualify for the Paralympics, athletes must compete in a set number of
certified races. The lack of resources, both financial and geographic,
has made it difficult for the Ghanaian and Nigerian teams to participate
on the level necessary to gain entrance into international competition
such as the Paralympics. By competing in the Kessler Foundation 10k, one
of the largest certified wheelchair races in the U.S., they will come
closer to reaching full qualification.

Rodger DeRose, President and chief executive officer of Kessler
Foundation, said, “We are excited to have incredible athletes from
Africa compete in the Kessler Foundation 10k and hope it will help them
accomplish their greater athletic goals. This shows that our 10k is an
internationally recognized race.”

Sam Aidoo, technical director of the Paralympics Committee of Ghana,
worked to develop sports for people with disabilities in Ghana to focus
national attention on disability issues in Ghana. By highlighting the
accomplishments of athletes with disabilities, Aidoo and his racers have
changed how disability is viewed in Ghana and, as a result, have
improved the status of people with disabilities.

The Ridgewood Run has taken place every Memorial Day for the past 35
years. The wheelchair division, which is made possible through the
sponsorship of Kessler Foundation, kicks off the event with the runners
starting 5 minutes later. It is one of the few races where wheelchair
racers and runners simultaneously compete on the same track.

The Kessler Foundation Wheelchair 10k attracts more than 35 national and
international wheelchair athletes. Racers from Kessler Foundation
sponsored adult and junior athletic teams—the WheelBlazers and the North
Jersey Navigators—will also compete. The race starts at Graydon Pool in
Ridgewood at 8:40 a.m.

About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation’s fundamental strategy is to link science and
grantsmanship so that people with disabilities can lead more productive,
independent and fulfilling lives. Kessler Foundation Research Center
conducts research that improves quality of life for persons with
injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis and
other chronic neurological and orthopedic conditions. Kessler Foundation
Program Center has provided more than $20 million in funding to a
variety of employment-related projects that are benefiting veterans,
young adults, students and others with physical and cognitive
For more information, visit

Kessler Foundation Contacts:
Lauren Scrivo
973.768.6583 (cell)
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Carolann Murphy, PA
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Location : Graydon Pool in Ridgewood, NY
Contact :