Breaking Away Award of Excellence: Beverly Weurding
KUSI News and Torrey Pines Bank (TPB) are proud to present the first Breaking Away Award of Excellence to Beverly Weurding the founder of The Wheelchair Dancers Organization (WDO), Social Dancing for people with disabilities. Don Rickman, VP/Relationship Manager for Torrey Pines Bank was on hand to present the award: “Beverly is more than worthy of this recognition. The passion and enthusiasm she brings is the driving force behind all of the dancers smiles and joy.”
The Wheelchair Dancers Organization changes lives of wheelchair bound San Diegans through dance! Weurding was a dancer before being diagnosed with a degenerative disease called Muscular Dystrophy. She refused to let it stop her from doing what she loved so she partnered with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, several other foundations and a dedicated dance director, Joe Torres, to launch the first, free Ballroom and Latin Wheelchair Dance Program on the West Coast. A year later, Sharp received the Best Practice Award for the on-going classes by the California Hospital Association. The dance class offers motivation, inspiration and joy in social experiences for wheelchair citizens of all ages. Its Mission “is to create an avenue by which the disabled community can enhance and strengthen their mind, body, and spirit through the art of dance.”
The non-profit company has been thriving since its establishment in 2008 and has grown even bigger than Beverly ever imagined. Its Vision is to “utilize the arts a vehicle to broaden the thinking and resolve issues of exclusion facing people with physical challenges…All that the Wheelchair Dancers Organization does will be for the purpose of providing opportunity for the sport of dance for those who would otherwise be denied, were it not for the wheelchair adaptation.” The dance company does a phenomenal job of making everyone in the community feel like they have a chance to continue being themselves and enjoying a sport that’s traditionally viewed as a one for those with standing capabilities only. It has even been recognized as an International Paralympics Sport by the International Paralympics Committee. It has also been featured and awarded many other medically sponsored and dancing, community awards for its giant strides it has made in the growing power of rehabilitation and strength of the human spirit.
KUSI and TPB have teamed up to honor those who “Break Away” from the pack and through necessity and vision have made amazing contributions for their community. Beverly is the first recipient of this award. KUSI with Torrey Pines Bank were proud to be on hand to honor Beverly for her dedication to changing the lives of people in wheelchairs.Brad Perry interviewed Beverly and the dance group on Good Morning San Diego at the Dance for 2 Studios in San Diego Tuesday. Don Rickman of Torrey Pines Bank presented the award to Beverly along with the other members of WDO. The presentation of her award will be featured on the Breaking Away Award of Excellence presented by Torrey Pines Bank in the KUSI News at 5PM on Friday, August 28, 2015.
For more information on how you can volunteer, donate or take classes at WDO, please visit http://www.wheelchairdancers.org/ or Like them onFacebook.
To nominate a member of your community who you think deserves to be recognized as Beverly has, please go to www.kusi.com and tune in for the KUSI News at 5PM every Friday to see if they won!