Diamondbacks unveil renovated Ability360 aquatics center

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Brayden Dailey, a visually impaired Diamondbacks fan, experiences the team’s mascot D. Baxter up close during during the unveiling of Ability360’s newly renovated aquatics facility. (Source: Tyler Drake/Cronkite News) Brayden Dailey, a visually impaired Diamondbacks fan, experiences the team’s mascot D. Baxter up close during during the unveiling of Ability360’s newly renovated aquatics facility. (Source: Tyler Drake/Cronkite News)
Ability 360 unveiled its newly renovated aquatic center on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Source: Tyler Drake/ Cronkite News) Ability 360 unveiled its newly renovated aquatic center on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Source: Tyler Drake/ Cronkite News)

By Jenn Baluch, Cronkite News

PHOENIX (CRONKITE) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a splash, unveiling a renovated aquatics center for disabled and able-bodied at the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center.

The pool, located at 5031 E. Washington Street in Phoenix was funded by a $100,000 Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick’s Grand Slam Award through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

Phil Pangrazio, president and CEO of Ability360, said the renovation is vital to the organization’s efforts, which are aimed at helping people achieve self-sufficiency through various programs.

“It was an amazing surprise that night when we were one of 10 (charitable organizations) to get $100,000,” Pangrazio said. “We really appreciate the support, because the pools are a big part of what we do here. It serves a lot of our community.”

The center’s newly renovated therapy pool is heated and includes additions for disabled individuals such as hydraulic lifts, elevators and transfer access. Debbie Castaldo, vice president of corporate and community impact for the Diamondbacks, said she loves finding unique projects that are special to the community.

“You know they’re going to transform lives,” Castaldo said. “They welcome their entire community, it’s not just those who are going through therapy or disabilities; it’s the able-bodied community as well. It’s a truly inclusive environment.”

The members of the Aquatic Center have been taking full advantage of the pool through a soft opening trial. It offers a place for members to gather with friends and take advantage of programs that encourage self-reliance and socialization through recreation..

“I love the pool,” said member Kathie Wayne, “because any day, no matter what my health is, I can get in the pool.”

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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