Members of the CVR Crusaders Special Olympics basketball team received team jackets courtesy of a donation from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) Chapter 517. The CVR Crusaders are a part of the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation's (CVR) ongoing initiative to increase opportunities for CVR's special needs participants. The Crusaders have played at halftime of Rutgers and Seton Hall basketball games and, this past season, they advanced to the Special Olympics championship tournament in Wildwood, finishing second.
"Today is an amazing day," said Travis Johnson, head coach of the CVR Crusaders basketball team. "The members of our basketball program work so hard, on and off the court, to be the best men they can be. Everyday they are focusing on working together, maintaining a positive attitude and never giving up in the face of adversity. To have an organization like AHEPA Chapter 517 honor the commitment of our players with these varsity team jackets means so much to everyone here at CVR."
AHEPA is a national Hellenic organization whose core values include philanthropy and civic responsibility. Chapter 517 is located in Holmdel, NJ. The donation for the team jackets was led by member, Demetri Orfanitopoulos, who has a family member on the team.
"AHEPA is extremely committed to making a difference in our community," said Mr. Orfanitopoulos, AHEPA Chapter 517 member. "I have seen first-hand what being a member of the CVR Crusaders means to my brother-in-law, Andre. The jackets are a tremendous source of pride for the players and it gives our organization great joy to make a positive contribution to their lives. I am so grateful to Chapter 517 for supporting this endeavor."
The Crusaders will be competing in the Special Olympics East Division playoffs in Old Bridge on March 15th and 16th. The top three teams in their division will qualify for the Special Olympics Championships in Wildwood.
The embroidery and logo design for the team jackets was done locally by Boy on a Dolphin Embroidery.
Founded in 1954, the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation (CVR) has provided what people with disabilities need most for their self-respect and the esteem of others: WORK. CVR facilitates personal growth and helps bring dignity and respect to the people it serves through a variety of vocational and partial-care rehabilitation programs. For more information about CVR, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, please visit: http://www.cvrus.org.