Olympic champion Amy Van Dyken to keynote 25th anniversary gala

0617TPV News (Amy Van Dyken)

Six-time Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Amy Van Dyken will serve as the keynote speaker for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act Gala, “A New Generation of Change,” from 6-11 p.m., Saturday, July 18 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 E. 5th St. in Tempe.

This dynamic Olympic athlete became paralyzed when her spinal cord was severed in an ATV crash in the summer of 2014. Ms. Van Dyken, an advocate for persons with disabilities, will inspire the audience with her tenacity, drive and determination to live life to the fullest and not let disability stand in her way.

“We are both humbled and honored to have Amy as this year’s keynote speaker and excited about the message she will share,” stated Phil Pangrazio, ABIL President and CEO, in a press release.

In addition to Ms. Van Dyken’s keynote address, the 25th Anniversary Gala event will honor individuals from the community who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of and empower all people with disabilities in three award categories Trailblazer, Legacy and Emerging Leader, according to the release.

The 25th Anniversary Gala will include a robust silent auction with donated items from Disneyland tickets to hotel/vacation packages, according to the release. Funds raised from the silent auction will support the Arizona Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities.

AZYLF focuses on self-discovery, identifying options and resources, disability history, culture and advocacy with youth who have disabilities who are transitioning to adulthood from across Arizona.

To register, become a sponsor or for more information, visit www.abil.org/2015adagala.

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