Anapol Schwartz Honored AJ Nanayakkara as the 2011 Anapol Advocate Award Winner.
Visitors to the Anapol Schwartz Foundation website had 5 Candidates to choose from. Each candidate a dedicated individual committed to helping those living with spinal cord injuries to lead more productive and enjoyable lives. Each candidate named a charity that benefited individuals living with spinal cord injuries, which, if that candidate won, would receive a grant of $5,000 from Anapol Schwartz comprised of proceeds received from successful cases involving spinal cord injuries.
Over 3,000 people took part in this voting process.
AJ was paralyzed 10 years ago in a Martial Arts accident but is now a gold medal winning U.S. National Wheelchair Rugby Team player, and a National Leader, advising the Department of Defense on how to promote Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors, as well as Community leader, assisting Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Victims through various local organizations.
Nanayakkara developed adapted recreation programs across the country and will spend his summer traveling with the Global Abilities Foundation, founded by AJ and his wife, in hopes to help people with disabilities in developing areas reintegrate into their communities.
In addition to a Plaque, Anapol Schwartz Partner, Joel Feldman, presented a check in the amount of $5,000 to the Legal Clinic for the Disabled on AJ’s behalf. The Legal Clinic for the Disabled is housed at Magee Rehabilitation and provides free Legal help and advice to low-income disabled individuals.
Feldman was so moved by the accomplishments of all of this year’s advocates that the Anapol Schwartz Foundation decided to award the remaining nominees by donating $1,000 to each of their named charities: The American Spinal Injury Association(MJ Mulcahey), The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (Dr. Dan Gottlieb), MossRehab (Harry W. Schwartz, MD), and the Adam Taliaferro Foundation (Adam Taliaferro).