OSWEGO, NY – Eight years ago one misstep resulted in a life-changing event, a fall from a 13-foot balcony left Greg Callen with paralysis of the lower half of his body.
While the next a couple years brought periods of depression and soul searching Greg eventually began working on living independently. He moved to Syracuse, began driving, and worked as an inside sales representative. Soon after, he had another life-changing experience when he hesitantly accepted a friend’s suggestion to checkout Syracuse Fliers Wheelchair Sports.
“When I first visited Syracuse Fliers Wheelchair Sports my initial thought was that I’m not going to do sports that way, however a year later I made the decision to get active again and thought I would give it a try. To my surprise I enjoyed it, realized the benefits of it and decided to make it a business. I established Move Along, a non-profit organization to promote wheelchair athletics and competitive programs for persons with disabilities and their families, joined resources with Syracuse Fliers Wheelchair Sports and are now operating as Move Along, Inc.” said Callen.
With Move Along firmly established Greg and the organizations board of directors began establishing recreational and competitive programs throughout Central New York. Move Along currently provides: sled hockey, adult and youth wheelchair basketball, swimming, kayaking / rowing, and adapted cycling.
Greg’s story is one of accepting challenges and finding the resources to overcome them. It’s an inspiring tale that he will share with the community at the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast, September 11 at the American Foundry in Oswego.
“Even before my in jury I knew the value of United Way and how it serves the community by encompassing individuals that can help with resources and then redirecting that money into a great benefit for the community members. I am intrigued by the opportunity to share my story at the United Way Campaign Kick-Off. In the future I look to hopefully partner with United Way and donate my time to speak about the challenges we all face in life, the importance of good decision making, and how discovering and using networks and resources may help individuals overcome any type of challenge,” said Callen.
“Greg is a remarkable individual,” said Rob Rolfe, chairperson for United Way’s 2013-2014 Annual Campaign. “His positive attitude has led to the development of an outstanding organization that provides hope and instills confidence in disabled individuals of all ages. Greg’s contribution as our guest speaker will resonate with the community as it greatly gives people the opportunity to better understand the human side of what United Way does. I am inspired by the way Greg directs his energy in such a way to create positive outcomes for others. It is a prefect reflection of what United Way does every day. It is our community, and Greg has indeed made it personal.”
The United Way’s Annual Campaign, which serves as the organizations primary fundraiser for the many human services programs that United Way and its member agencies provide for those who live in Oswego County, will officially get under way with a special Kick-Off Breakfast to be held September 11 from 8 – 9 a.m. at the American Foundry, Route 104 East (behind The Fajita Grill) in Oswego.
The cost to attend the event is $15.
For more information, or to make reservations to attend the United Way Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast, contact Lois Luber at your United Way office, 315-593-1900 or via e-mail at [email protected]