Jennifer Reyna and the Central Valley Ballers. Photo contributed.

published on October 24, 2019 - 2:44 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) recognized local individuals and organizations in the city and honored them during this morning’s city council meeting as part of the commemoration of October as Disability Awareness Month.

Every year for the month, the DAC recognizes individuals, organizations, and city employees that have helped improved the quality of life for people with disabilities in Fresno.

Jennifer Reyna received the Individual Achievement Award for her work as the manager and coach of The Central Valley Ballers, the only wheelchair basketball team in the central San Joaquin Valley, according to a press release from the City of Fresno.

Along with volunteering a large amount of time to the team, Reyna successfully secured non-profit status and a Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation Grant for five new basketball wheelchairs and a storage trailer for the team.

She works as an Autism Specialist/Par Educator for Fresno Unified School District.

“Jennifer works almost by herself tirelessly to keep our basketball team running smoothly. She was the main driving force in getting our team into a LLC and attaining non-profit status—she does all this while working a full time job as a teacher,” said Julie Perren in the release. Perren nominated Reyna for the award.

For its customer service and inclusivity of people with disabilities, DAC also recognized Planet Fitness on North Blackstone and gave them the Organization Achievement Awards.

“Often public gyms will try to discourage disabled people from using their gyms,” said Chenier Derrick, who nominated the gym. “I have seen many people that were never into fitness gain an appreciation for it due to the amazing service at Planet Fitness.”

The City of Fresno employee award went to the Neighborhood Revitalization Team of Silvestre Gomez, Francisco Gastelumrivera, Alice Green, and Erica Castaneda.

“The common question is ‘what does it mean what can we do?’” said DAC Chair Frances Reyes Acosta. “The Disability Advisory Commission seeks to answer that question by recognizing individuals in our community, employees of our city, and businesses servicing our population as a whole for their part to promote independence and for their effort to respect and recognize the accomplishments of people with disability.”

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