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Historic Vote Paves Way for Adaptive Beach Recreation Center

Miami Beach News - 8/29/2017

Chamber Member Sabrina Cohen's vi-sion of enabling people with disabilities togo regularly to the beach and partake in thesame refreshing and healing sand-an-oceanexperience that we all enjoy, is much closer to becoming a reality, thanks to the MiamiBeach City Commission. Mayor Levineand Commissioners voted 6-1 on July 26, 2017 to approve a proposal from the Sab-rina Cohen Foundation (SCF) to constructan adaptive beach recreation center. Theseaside recreational facility will host pro grams for adults and children with disabil-ities, providing an all-inclusive recreationand fitness experience.

"We are thrilled with the approval, and now it is time to come together as a com-m munity so we can make Miami Beach a world class destination for everyone, " said Cohen, founder and President of the no-n profit organization.

This important commitment enables SCF to launch a fundraising campaign for the bricks and mortar component, including the design and construction of the center.

The 10,000 squar-efoot building will be constructed next to thfiere station at 5301 Collins Ave. The land and building would be cit-yowned.A management company is yet to be approved. The foundation already holds twic-emonthly fully adaptive beach days at 64th and Collins Avenue, where a fully adaptive playground, which is also part of the SCF project, is already under construction.

The commission's vote came on the 27thanniversary of the signing into law of theAmericans with Disabilities Act, whichprohibits discrimination and guaranttees that people with disabilities have the saame op portunities as everyone else in Amer rica can enjoy. SCF weathered a setback in2015, after the original site the city had selectedfor the center was abandoned due toneighborhood opposition. But this year's meetingwent differently. Even though therre againwas neighborhood opposition, Mayor Philip Levine said it was time to gi ive SCFthe green light.

"I think this is the greatest gift that our city has been given," said Levine. "It's onemore feather in our cap to welcome this particular community, " he added. "We are very grateful to Mayor Levine and the co-m mission for their support. Now is the time for all of us to come together as a comm-u nity, to join in creating a facility that will put Miami Beach on the map as a destin-a tion that everyone can enjoy, no matter what their physical abilities, " said Cohen.

Cohen, a Miami Beach native, was par-a lyzed in 1992 when, at the age of 14, she was injured in a car accident on Alton Road. Since then, she has devoted herself to spea-r heading and championing causes to bette-r ing the lives of people with disabilities.

The fully accessible beach days were i-n augurated last year, thanks to a partnership with the city, along with grants from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the Miami Foundation, and the help of su-p porters. The program has also received major media national attention, creating positive exposure for the city.

To fitnd out more about the foundation's "Beach for All" program, go to www.sabr-i nacohenfoundation.org , or contact Cohen 30-596-88024 or Sabrina@sabrinacohe-n foundation.org to arrange a personal visi to Sabrina's beach.

 
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