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Local Community Members to be Honored for Their Work on Behalf of Those with Special Needs and Disabilities at Fort Worth Cats Game

Local citizen, Kent Waldrep, and regional agency, the Arc of Northeast Tarrant County, will be recognized at 7:05 PM during a special ceremony at home plate just before the start of the May 30 Forth Worth Cats game as part of Disability Awareness Night.

Fort Worth, TX, May 22, 2009 --( Members of your community will be honored for their lives, work, and advocacy on behalf of the 54.6 million people living with disabilities in the United States during Disability Awareness Night™ (DAN™), a special event taking place at home plate on May 30, 2009, at 7:05 PM, before the Fort Worth Cats game at LaGrave Field.

The event is hosted by EP Global Communications, Inc., publisher of Exceptional Parent (EP) magazine, a company dedicated to offering information and resources to people with disabilities and special needs and the family members and professionals who care for and about them. The EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Kent Waldrep and the Arc of Northeast Tarrant County.

Waldrep experiences quadriplegia from a broken neck sustained in 1974 while playing football for Texas Christian University. Since then, he has founded The Kent Waldrep International Spinal Cord Research Foundation, The Kent Waldrep National Paralysis Foundation as well as the Kent Waldrep Foundation Center for Basic Neuroscience Research, jointly funded by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Waldrep has also authored a book chronicling his life entitled Fourth and Long.

The Arc of Northeast Tarrant County (NETC) was founded in 1971 by a group of concerned parents who wanted to provide education, advocacy, and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. They achieve their mission through a variety of programs and a team of dedicated volunteers.

Disability Awareness Night began in 2002 when Exceptional Parent magazine combined forces with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to create this event, the first of its kind. The program now encompasses both Major and Minor League Baseball venues, the NBA, and NASCAR, with events across the nation.

“Our goal is to help all Americans understand that we will become a stronger nation and better human beings when we learn to regard people with disabilities and special needs as people to be respected, not as problems to be confronted,” said Joseph M. Valenzano, president and CEO of EP Global Communications, Inc.

EP Global Communications is a 38-year-old, award-winning, multimedia company that provides information for families and professionals involved in the care and development of people with disabilities and special healthcare needs via Exceptional Parent magazine,, EP Bookstore, EPLiveOnline, and community outreach programs such as Disability Awareness Night.

MassMutual Financial Group and its SpecialCaresm program has been the exclusive national financial services sponsor of Disability Awareness Night since 2003.

“Our sponsorship of this Disability Awareness Night deepens MassMutual’s commitment to supporting people with disabilities and other special needs, and their families,” said Joanne Gruszkos, director of the MassMutual SpecialCare program. “Through our work with EP, Easter Seals, and our specially trained and certified SpecialCare planners, we are trying to raise the general awareness of the unique needs of this population and provide the means for them to develop a life plan that will enable a special needs family to obtain the best quality of life possible.”

If you would like more information, please contact Randy Newsome, Director of Special Projects, EP Global Communications, Inc., at 856-628-3500 or

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EP Global Communications
Randy Newsome

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