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ECU, Pitt given disability award honor

(Aug. 21, 2001)   —   An annual wheelchair basketball tournament at East Carolina University has helped Pitt County win a national recognition for community efforts for citizens with disabilities.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) and United Parcel Service (UPS) selected the county as one of the 10 winners in this year's NOD/UPS Community Awards Competition.
Other winners are Boston, Mass., North Providence/Cranston R.I., Bloomington, Ind., Las Cruces, N.M., Oak Island, N.C., El Cerrito, Cal., Southampton, N.Y., Sonoma County Cal., and Alachua County Fla.
In naming the award recipients, the National Organization on Disability said Pitt County "developed a partnership with area organizations and East Carolina University to provide an annual Women's Wheelchair Basketball International Tournament, drawing teams from around the world."
The tournament, known as the Walker Cup, was organized through ECU's L.T. Walker International Human Performance Center. This year's competition, May 29 - June 2, drew wheelchair teams from the United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico.
The county was also recognized for its development of devices for disabled people, a cultural arts workshop and for voter registration events.
The Walker Center received $2,000 in award money. The money will support the Walker Cup Day in the School program that sends wheelchair basketball competitors to area schools to perform exhibitions and to demonstrate the abilities of disable athletes.
The NOD competition began in 1982 as a way to recognize and promote worthy local projects serving individuals with disabilities. The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of the United Parcel Service, is a supporter of human welfare projects, education and volunteerism. Last year UPS donated $37.2 million worldwide.