An eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona

2010 Calendar Available For Fitness Center Supporters

Josh Johnson, Jake Driskel, Dominick Aiello and Kelly Case.

Josh Johnson, Jake Driskel, Dominick Aiello and Kelly Case.

Back in August, Accessing Arizona met up with Phil Pangrazio, the top dog at ABIL ( with an idea about raising some money for the new fitness center he’s preparing to build at the Disabilities Empowerment Center in Phoenix. The Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center ( is going to be the first of it’s kind in the southwest. The entire center is designed for people with disabilities to participate in both competitive sports and recreational activities.

What came from the meeting was an idea to create a calendar that highlighted those who will benefit from such a facility. And rather than just taking photos of people playing sports, the calendar features portraits of athletes around Arizona taken by professional photographers. The idea being to show more of the person behind the sport rather than just someone active in a sport.

So for the better part of four months, I took advantage of people’s time and talent. I recruited Jim Vigileos and Jerry O’Connor, whom I now share a studio with, and one other really talented photographer, Blair Bunting (also Horizon HS alumni) to work with the athletes. This was a great project and I met some amazing people. It’s always a bonus when the people being photographed turn out to be fun, interesting and truly have a desire to live life. Hopefully that’s what you see in the photos.

Equally amazing is the plans for the facility. It’s going to be a state of the art center. The calendars are being sold for $15.00 a copy and 100% of the proceeds goes to the facility. For details visit Please show your support by buying one or more copies. Don’t even bother nailing it to the wall because everyone who walks by is going to want to pull it down and look through the pages.

Kevin, Dana, Erik and Katie

Kevin Messner, Dana Mathewson, Erik Hightower, and Katie Dickey

Jennifer Ruddell, Greg Hockensmith, John Tuzzolino and Corbin Beu

Jennifer Ruddell, Greg Hockensmith, John Tuzzolino and Corbin Beu

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1 Responses »

  1. Hi,
    I hope you can help me. I am interested in viewing a wheelchair basketball or wheelchair rugby, or any other sports activity done in a wheelchair. I am a graduate student at Northern Arizona University and am studying Sociology of Sports. I am interested in how individuals enter into playing wheelchair sports and how they connect to society in and out of wheelchairs. If you could let me know if practices or games are held in the next couple of months in the Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott areas and how I can get more information, I would surelyl appreciate your help.
    Thank you

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What Acessing Arizona Is All About

Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
If you are traveling to Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona or the Grand Canyon, the site offers insight about the accessibility. We cover trails, lakes, state parks, national parks and just about anything claiming to be handicapped accessible. The site also covers sports and recreation in Arizona.
From racing to rugby, from basketball to sled hockey, we cover all the local sports teams. Note: All photographs and essays are copyright Accessing Arizona, unless noted otherwise. Individuals may copy photos for their personal use provided the photo includes a text link back to For commercial or editorial use, please contact the editor.