Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation
The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation’s generous support enabled BORP to strengthen our organization and further our mission to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. The Foundation was formed in 1977 by F. Wayne Valley and his wife, Gladys Valley, to provide financial assistance for various charitable organizations of particular interest to them, principally in the East Bay Area of California. Since Wayne Valley’s death in October 1986, and Gladys Valley’s death in May 1998, the Foundation has been considered a major philanthropic institution. Wayne Valley was the founder and majority owner of Citation Builders, a San Leandro, California developer which became one of the largest single-family home builders in the State. In all of Mr. Valley’s business activities, he gained a reputation as a tough, honest and fair-minded businessman who insisted that each endeavor which he undertook be justified on its own merits and offered an above-average chance for success. The Valleys applied these principles to their charitable giving as well. True to the principles of its founders, the Foundation has made and will continue to make, grants only to organizations and projects which strive for excellence and carry out their programs in a well-managed and cost-efficient manner, with clearly defined and achievable goals. BORP is proud to have achieved these high standards and is grateful for the Foundation’s beneficence.
BORP Co-Founder Susan Sygall is an internationally recognized expert on the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development. She has directed international exchange programs since 1983, and since 1995 has served as Project Director for Mobility International USA’s National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange. Ms. Sygall travels worldwide to consult and train in areas of leadership, inclusion, and services for people with disabilities, most recently in Vietnam, Micronesia, Bosnia, Brazil, and Mexico. Ms. Sygall received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000, a Kellogg National Fellowship, and was named Disabled Oregonian of the Year in 1994. In 1995 she received the “President’s Award” from Bill Clinton for her dynamic leadership in international exchange programs for people with disabilities, for her mentorship of young people with disabilities, and for her active role throughout our country and the world in empowering people with disabilities. Ms. Sygall has taught graduate-level courses at the University of Oregon including the class “Global Perspectives on Disability” through the International Studies and Special Education programs.
Jennifer Howitt is one of the most decorated athletes in BORP’s 30-year history. She was named the “Sports ‘n Spokes National Athlete of the Year” in 2000; she is the only junior athlete to win national sportsmanship awards in both track and basketball; and she has been a member of six USA women’s wheelchair basketball teams from 1999 to 2006, including the 2004 Gold Medal Athens Paralympic team. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and earned her Masters of Philosophy in Development from Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. Her master’s thesis subject was women with disabilities in Nicaragua. She has worked extensively on international disability rights. Jennifer is currently in training for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
Tim Orr worked with BORP for over 30 years starting in 1984 and founded the Children & Youth Sports Program in 1986. He has coordinated and coached the Bay Cruisers continuously for the past 21 years. He is Commissioner of the West Coast Conference of junior wheelchair basketball. Tim has coached seven USA junior international teams in both track & field and basketball. He was the recipient of the 2005 National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s “Leadership Award” for his work as a national leader in the development of youth wheelchair basketball. Tim is also a well-known improvisational actor who has taught and performed worldwide. His local appearances are often as part of “3 For All,” a highly regarded improv trio that performs frequently at the Bayfront Theater at Fort Mason and other local venues. Tim joins the BORP Hall of Fame as the first and only coach to be so honored.
The City of Berkeley
Since the early 1960’s the City of Berkeley has been a national leader in civil rights for people with disabilities and the cause of accessibility. It was one of the first cities to implement curb cuts and it was instrumental in making the Ed Roberts Campus a reality. As part of this long-term commitment, the City has for many years supported BORP and its mission to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through sports and recreation programming. James Kenney Recreation Center in West Berkeley is home to BORP’s wheelchair basketball, power soccer, and goalball teams. The City also houses, rent free, BORP’s Adaptive Cycling Center at Aquatic Park. In addition, for over 20 years the City has provided core funding for BORP’s sports and recreation programs including Wheelchair Basketball, Goalball, Power Soccer, Cycling, and the Outings & Adventures Program. The City has been a model partner and has greatly facilitated BORP’s organizational development and success.
Chuck Gill started with BORP in 1987 as a member of the adult men’s basketball team and assisted with coaching BORP’s junior wheelchair basketball team in the early 1990’s. In 1991 Chuck became a member of the Golden State Road Warriors, then known as the 76ers. As a 13-time member of the USA National Wheelchair Basketball Team, Chuck helped the USA win 3 gold medals at the World Championships of 1994, 1998, and 2002; and 3 bronze medals in 1996, 2000, and in 2016 as an assistant coach. Chuck’s teams also won national championships in 2001 & 2004, and he was named the MVP in 2001 by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. He was a 17- time NWBA/NBA All-Star Team member and 2-time NWBA/NBA All-Star game MVP. Chuck went on to play professionally in France from 2005-2007, and since 2008 has served as the coach of BORP’s adult wheelchair basketball team. As a player and coach Chuck has and continues to be about high achievement and excellence.
As BORP’s executive director from 1995 to 2007, Rick Spittler provided visionary leadership to BORP and led the development of BORP’s current menu of sports and recreation programming. He came to BORP at a difficult time, just as the organization lost all of its federal funding. Rick secured new funding from numerous funders and individual donors, including the cities of Berkeley and Oakland. With the new funding, Rick led the development of the Cycling Program and the Adventures & Outings Program and helped transform BORP into a model adaptive sports and recreation organization for other organizations around the country to follow and emulate. Rick also helped secure BORP’s future by developing the Revolution Ride (now in its 14th year) and by recruiting and hiring some of BORP’s current and very talented staff members including Greg Milano, Julie Yates, Jonathan Newman, and Lori Gray. Finally, Rick was instrumental in the development of the Ed Roberts Campus, now BORP’s home in Berkeley.
Kathryn (KB) Black
Kathryn Black believed deeply in BORP and its dedication to creating opportunities for kids and adults to enjoy adaptive sports and recreation. As BORP’s Co-Coordinator of the Children and Youth Sports Program from 1993 to 1995, she focused on the development of BORP’s power soccer team. Kathryn organized tournaments locally and arranged travel for the team, including a trip to Canada. She also assisted Tim Orr with the wheelchair basketball and track & field programs, and in 1994 she was honored with BORP’s Coach of the Year award. From 1990 to 1998 Kathryn was a member of the Bay Area Meteorites Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. In her first year she was a member of the 1990 Gold Cup and Pan American USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams; later, she was on the 1994 Gold Cup Team and was an alternate on the 1996 USA Women’s Basketball Team. In addition to playing and coaching, Kathryn provided administrative and fundraising support for the Meteorites. Kathryn, who passed away in 2017, continued to fundraise every year for BORP and participated in the annual Revolution Ride & Festival annually. After leaving BORP, Kathryn went back to school to get a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy and focused her work in pediatrics. She credited BORP for leading her in this direction by demonstrating the power of sports and physical activity in supporting individual growth and development.
Cecelia Perkins first got involved with BORP in 1990, at age 16, joining BORP’s Bay Cruisers track & field and basketball teams. In 1991&1992 she set national records in multiple track & field and swimming events. At that time she also received the Coaches’ Award at Track & Field Junior Nationals. From 1992-1996 Cecelia attended the University of Illinois, becoming the first BORP athlete to attend a 4-year college on an athletic scholarship. She competed on their varsity wheelchair basketball and track teams and in 1993 was a member of the University’s women’s national wheelchair basketball championship team. In 1996 Cecelia became the assistant coach of BORP’s Bay Cruisers track & field and basketball teams. In 1997 she represented the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team at the Stoke Mandeville World Games, and then in 1998 represented BORP at the International Independent Living Conference and ski competition in Japan. From 1997 – 2002 Cecelia served as the Event Director for several BORP regional junior wheelchair basketball tournaments and was Co-Director of the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Berkeley in 2000. In 1997 Cecelia began a ten-year stretch on BORP’s Board of Directors, joining her mom, Jacquie Perkins, BORP’s longest-serving board member with 18 years of service. In 1999 and 2000, Cecelia won BORP’s Volunteer of the Year award which was later named after her. For over 25 years now, on and off the court & field, Cecelia has offered her leadership to advance BORP’s mission.
Joining the Bay Cruisers at just six years of age, Richie Bennett was an exemplary athlete during his 13-year career as a junior wheelchair athlete, setting numerous national records in track & field, and serving as captain of BORP’s wheelchair basketball team. More importantly, while he excelled on the field of play, he thrived as a teammate and an ambassador for the sports in which he participated. His dedication and enthusiasm resulted in numerous honors, including National Sportsmanship Awards for both basketball and track & field. With his graduation from high school, BORP’s annual “Team Spirit Award” was renamed the “Richie Bennett Award”. Richie’s impact on the program didn’t stop there. He is currently the head coach of the prep team (youth 6-12) and an assistant coach for the older youth on the varsity team. As a coach, Richie led the Bay Cruisers to three national championships in 2003, 2004, and 2008. During this time Richie also attended St. Mary College and received his Master’s Degree in Social Work. In the gym, Richie continues to provide an excellent example of what BORP kids can accomplish, and because he grew up with BORP, he understands first-hand the challenges they face and knows what we can expect and how we can support them. He always makes sure to welcome every new player to the gym and makes their families feel supported from day one. Richie personifies the spirit of BORP.
Chris Finn started playing power soccer with BORP in March 2002 and was hired as Head Coach of BORP’s power soccer teams in September of the same year. In 2003 he started BORP’s longest-running fundraising event – the annual Poker Slam. In 2004 & 2005, as head coach, he led BORP teams to the Western Regional Championships. In the following year, Chris became a Founding Member of United States Power Soccer Association and the Federation Internationale de Powerchair Football Association. He served on the board of FIPFA from 2006 – 2013. In 2007 Chris coached the US National Team and led it to a Powerchair Football World Cup. As head coach of BORP’s Power Soccer teams, Chris enjoyed tremendous competitive accomplishments including Power Soccer Western Regional Division 1 Championships in 2009, Power Soccer Western Regional Division 1 and 2 Championships in 2010, and Power Soccer Presidents Cup National Championship in 2014. Chris’ other head coaching triumphs include Powerchair Football World Cup Champion in 2011, US National Team; Powerchair Football Under -18 World Champion in 2013, US Under-18 National Team; and Powerchair Football COPA America Champion, US National Team in 2014. Chris always develops a strong rapport with his players and continues to keep them engaged and competing at a high level while having fun. His message is always positive and he inspires his players to compete and give their best. Chris’s passion for the game and his ability to communicate his knowledge has made Chris a truly inspirational leader at BORP.