Edition 16 | Spring 2019
Cardinals receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, orates Ability360 breakfast
Photo by Karam Gafsi
Larry Fitzgerald knows empowerment and its perfect companion, personal responsibility. Not just because of the sport the future Hall of Famer plays, although that’s undeniable.
He learned it from his mother.
“To empower someone is to give them strength they didn’t realize they possess and the power to achieve beyond what they thought they could,” the Arizona Cardinals’ iconic receiver told a crowd of nearly 400 people at the Ability360 Breakfast on March 21.
“Personal responsibility is the perfect companion to empowerment. When a person discovers the strength and power they possess, the natural reaction is to take more responsibility for the future. They become the masters of their own lives. That’s a beautiful thing.”
He shared the message and the source of its heartfelt inspiration to an engaged and embracing crowd.
“My mother had cerebral palsy, and her childhood years were particularly difficult. She didn’t allow anyone to feel sorry for her and wouldn’t accept the victim mentality. She never made excuses. She lived a life of inspiration and was a source of empowerment. My mother would have fit in very well here.”
The annual fundraising breakfast event on the floor of the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center raised more than $80,000 to support programs and services for men, women and children who “are changing the landscape of the Phoenix community and telling the story that needs to be told,” Fitzgerald said.
“Your journey has been an uphill battle. Your mantra, your mission, is not to blame or complain but one of empowerment and responsibility,” he said. “Empowerment is evident everywhere I looked on my tour of this incredible facility from the equipment to the culture you have created. When somebody walks through the doors of Ability360, they are immediately empowered.”
The event featured a video with interviews of Ability360 athletes underscoring the day’s theme, “Why Sports Matter.” Among them were Ryan Pinney (a veteran and Paralympic hand cyclist), Stephen Hernandez (varsity Wheelchair Suns and Stand-Up Amputee basketball player), Ernie Chun (Ability360 Phoenix Heat and Paralympic wheelchair rugby player), and Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken.
The Ability360 Breakfast was presented by Valley Metro and sponsored by Nothing But NET, Position Sports Inc., Stacy and Witbeck Inc., and Waymo. Honorary co-chairs were Mike McQuaid Sr. and Jim Whitehead. Catering sponsors were Vincent on Camelback and Café Cultivate.
Ability360 Donation Information
Ability360 is a 501(C)(3) organization. Through contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (formerly known as the Working Poor Tax Credit), you can donate your Arizona Tax Credit to Ability360. If you would like to consider a planned estate gift to Ability360, such as a will or trust, life insurance policy or retirement account, please designate the gift to Ability360 in your estate/beneficiary documents and/or execute a gift agreement clearly indicating your legacy wishes. All donation information can be found on our website at www.ability360.org/donate. For more information, please contact Meghan Fable, director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.