Injured Runner an Inspiration to All PDF Print E-mail

image of jason stubbeman in a wheelchair racing

Three years ago Jason Stubbeman, then 22 years old, was training for an Ironman competition.  A dedicated long distance runner, Jason ran cross country in high school and though not on a team, he continued running during college. As an outdoor recreation management major, outdoor adventure was a part of life. On any given day Jason could be found biking 60+ miles, swimming, or even rock climbing.

It was one unfortunate day, one fateful slip that changed Jason’s life.  While rock climbing, Jason fell 20 ft breaking the primary weight bearing/movement bone in his foot. The trauma to the joint and the damage to the ligaments around it permanently altered the range of motion in his foot leaving him unable to ever run again.

Corso's special recreation work honored by state PDF Print E-mail
Corso's special recreation work honored by state
By David Heitz, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Addison Press


During her 10 years at the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association, Beth Corso has done everything from coaching basketball games to planning dances and social events to organizing Special Olympics track and field competitions for athletes from all over the area with special needs.

Corso, a senior recreation coordinator at the association, was awarded earlier this year with the Professional of the Year Award by the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section, part of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

Corso said she was honored, and a bit surprised, she won the award. She was recognized for outstanding programing and service, according to the state association.

“It was a nice recognition, and my family is really proud that I won it,” she said.

The Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association, based in Addison, provides recreational services for people with disabilities. The organization, founded in 1976, provides more than 600 recreation programs and services for both children and adults with disabilities, spokeswoman Lonna Converso said. The organization provides programs such as wheelchair sports, the DuPage Pro League for children with behavioral disorders, the Kids Klub program, social clubs and Special Olympics sports, she said.

At a glance

Beth Corso, senior program coordinator at the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association in Addison

Age: 35
Family: Married, one child
Residence: Naperville
Hobbies: Spending time with family, playing with her dog, playing softball

The association operates as a consortium of 11 area park and recreation districts, including the Addison Park District — which it shares facilities with at Centennial Park — and partnering with the Bensenville and Wood Dale park districts.

In her role with the organization, Corso serves as coordinator of many of the group’s programs, including the Special Olympics sports programs.
Right now, her focus has been on the organization’s basketball team, which was playing in a state tournament earlier this week.

“I have coached many of our teams over the year, such as basketball, softball, volleyball and baseball programs,” Corso said. “I don’t do as much of it anymore, but it is very enjoyable.”

In addition to coaching, Corso also organizes one of the association’s biggest annual events, the Special Olympics Track and Field Meet, which this year will be held May 19.

“This is one of our most popular events; we get dozens of athletes of all ages who participate,” Corso said. “It’s a very awe-inspiring event.”

Other upcoming events this year include a Booster Club Bocce Ball Tournament June 8 and the annual Sweetest Day dance in October, all of which Corso said she organizes.

“Much of what I do now is in the organization and planning end, and less of the coaching end,” she said.
For more information on the association and the programs they offer, call (630) 620-4500 or visit

NEDSRA actor get a chance to shine PDF Print E-mail

NEDSRA actor get a chance to Shine

 By Elisabeth Mistretta | Daily Herald Staff


 There's no such thing as limits in the theater -- only imagination.

And because 14 suburban actors push limits every day while living with mental and physical disabilities, they are right at home on stage.

Today, these performers from the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association will put on their third annual variety show, "Light The Candles, It's Today."

The show will include movie theme songs, musical show tunes and comedy skits (some skits even created by the actors).

Lonna Converso, spokeswoman for the special recreation association, said the show has been popular from the start.

"We have so much support, and not just from the families of the participants," Converso said. "Last year there really were no seats left in the house, so that says something."

The troupe has been rehearsing since September for "Light the Candles, It's Today." The show is the culmination of a theater program offered by the recreation association led by Bob Griffin, who will direct today's performance.

Members will not only act on stage, but they also helped design the sets and build props.

"This is really a finale for them to showcase their work," Converso said.

Performers are: Sarah Byron, Ted Callahan, Jeffry Kaiser, Connie Kaesmeyer, Amanda Lycko, Katie Prentice and Cari Welter, all of Lombard; John Conroy of Roselle; Yvonne Blais, Christa DePrizio, Steve Gooding and Sarah Guidolin, all of Villa Park; John Paul Johnson of Bloomingdale; and Anthony Scrivo of Addison.

In addition to its theater course, the Addison-based NEDSRA offers a variety of recreation, social programs and special events to anyone with special needs or challenges. The programs serve residents in Addison, Bensenville, Butterfield, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Medinah, Oakbrook Terrace, Schiller Park, Villa Park and Wood Dale.

If you go

What: "Light the Candles, It's Today" performed by members of the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association

When:6:30 to 8:45 p.m. today

Where: Heritage Center, 1S325 Ardmore Ave., Oakbrook Terrace

Cost: Free

Details: (630) 620-4500, ext. 141

WDSRA?s Windy City Warriors Place Fourth at Nationals PDF Print E-mail
The Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) Windy City Warriors took fourth place in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) Junior Varsity Championship held this past weekend (March 7-9th) in Omaha Nebraska.
MNASR Staff Receives Award PDF Print E-mail
Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation (M-NASR) is proud to announce that Jennifer Reyes, Support Staff Manager, was presented with a Special Recognition Award by the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section (ITRS) of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) at their annual conference. Jennifer has dedicated over 12 years of service to M-NASR, and they are very proud to have her on their team. Congratulations Jennifer!

Jennifer accepting award


Visit the 1st Accessible Treehouse in Illinois PDF Print E-mail

In the past, the feeling of pure joy associated with climbing and watching the world from a treehouse has eluded children with physical disabilities. Not anymore…universally accessible treehouses are rising up across America! The Pepper Family Accessible Treehouse, the first accessible treehouse in Illinois, opened in 2007 to the delight of area residents and of groups traveling from far & wide. Located in Barrington, a northwest suburb of Chicago, the treehouse features 2,000 square feet of winding ramps, open air decks, a gazebo, and an enclosed cabin with electricity. At 511 Lake Zurich Road in beautiful Citizens Park, this magnificent structure provides a place for people of all ages, with disabilities or without disabilities, to experience nature, gather for social occasions, play in the cabin, and create memories.

The inspiration to build the treehouse began with a NISRA staff member discovering Forever Young Treehouses, Inc. while surfing the internet. Forever Young, Inc., a private non-profit organization that designs & constructs treehouses for schools, camps, and communities aims to build one accessible treehouse in every state of the U.S. “Our goal,” says Bill Allen, founder of Forever Young, “is to help everyone, regardless of ability, see the world differently, and enjoy the freedom and peace that a treehouse can provide.”  A partnership of the Barrington Park District, the NISRA (Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association) Foundation, and Forever Young Treehouses, Inc., the treehouse garnered media attention and three prestigious awards within its first year of existence.

To watch a short video clip produced by superstation WGN-TV in Chicago, click on the following link. When you reach the station’s web page with “Cover Stories”, scroll down to “Places,” and then choose “Everybody’s Treehouse.”

Other links of interest

Barrington Park District
NISRA & NISRA Foundation
Forever Young Treehouses, Inc.

WDSRA's Windy City Warriors Named Conference Champions PDF Print E-mail
The Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) Windy City Warriors took first place in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) Midwest Conference Junior Varsity Championship held Saturday and Sunday, February 16th and 17th.
WDSRA's Got Talent Broadcast PDF Print E-mail

WDSRA's Got Talent!  is currently airing on Comcast as a two part series Saturdays at 5pm (check local listings for details).  You can view the complete show right here:


BlazeSports® Athletes and Volunteers Needed at NWSRA PDF Print E-mail

(Northwest Suburbs) Take some time out for fun and register for one of many exciting BlazeSports® programs offered by the Northwest Special Recreation Association.  The NWSRA is looking to recruit adventurous individuals to join programs such as BlazeHockeySM, which adapts ice hockey for individuals with physical disabilities. 


Windy City Warriors PDF Print E-mail

image of disabled kid playing hockeyInterested in wheelchair sports in DuPage County?  BlazeSports is a  nationally acclaimed program to introduce children who have physical disabilities to a variety of sports and recreation opportunities through hands-on experience at an early age. Want to learn how to play new and different sports?  Try  a BlazeSport and learn the basics of  fun sports such as wheelchair rugby, power soccer, wheelchair tennis, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Softball and much, much more.  The goal of this  program is to provide a fun and exciting experience through a variety of sports opportunities that may increase your self-esteem and confidence while having fun with your peer group.

Click here for more information.

WDSRA's Got Talent PDF Print E-mail

WDSRA's got talent logoThe Western DuPage Special Recreation Association and the Video Ventures class are hosting their first talent competition “WDSRA’s Got Talent.” This spin-off of “America’s Got Talent” boasts WDSRA’s finest participants as they compete for First Prize. Ten participants will audition to be in the top three to compete in front of a live audience at the Comcast Studio in Mount Prospect on November 12th, 2007. For more information regarding this show please contact Jorie Meyer at 630.681.0962.

WDSRA on ABC Chicago PDF Print E-mail

image of girl smiling and pointing at her cheeks WDSRA on ABC Chicago


A Strike Every Time (Daily Herald) PDF Print E-mail

image of disabled kid playing hockey Click here to see the article on WDSRA from the Daily Herald.


Camp for Everyone (Daily Herald) PDF Print E-mail

image of kid climbing playground equipment Click here to see the article on WDSRA from the Daily Herald.



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