Challenged Athletes Foundation Celebrates Local Competitors

Attendees at Challenged Athletes Foundation Celebration of Heart
Garnett Silver Hall, Thomas Giovanola, Ben Thornton and Braulio Noriega

On May 12, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a nonprofit that empowers individuals with physical challenges and enables them to secure adaptive sports equipment and access to programs, raised more than $675,000 at its 6th annual Celebration of Heart event at Pier 27 in San Francisco.

Samuel Mansy and Bruce Mansy

More than 375 Bay Area attendees across sports, technology, business, and philanthropy embraced the night’s theme “Be Moved” to empower more individuals with physical challenges. They united to stand behind 50 local athletes and their families, including CAF grant recipients Sydney Barta and Bruce Mansy who took the stage as the evening’s featured athletes.

Event guests at Celebration of Heart

Host Hally Leadbetter led the inspirational program on how the Challenged Athletes Foundation impacts lives in the Bay Area and beyond by funding adaptive sports equipment, hosting sports camps and clinics, empowering injured military veterans and creating an inclusive community. 

Guests had the chance to experience adaptive sports firsthand at several interactive stations set up throughout the venue, with opportunities to try handcycling, play wheelchair basketball and take a turn on a putting green set up for the visually impaired.

Sydney Barta

Sydney Barta, a freshman at Stanford and member of USA Paralympic Track & Field team who lost her left foot in a tragic accident at the age of 6, spoke of her dream of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Sydney moved the crowd with her speech about how CAF helps with inclusion and community. “The communities built through sport are so important and we can’t let people with disabilities be excluded from those,” she said. “It is too important to the development of identity, sense of self and confidence.”

In April 2023, CAF provided 3,996 grants valued at $7 million to ignite positive change in the lives of challenged athletes across the country and support heir futures. This included adaptive sports equipment not covered by medical insurance such as running prosthetics, handcycles and sport wheelchairs along with travel, training, and competition expenses.

Photos: Christy Fritts, Challenged Athletes Foundation and Show Ready Photo

For more happenings and ways to get involved in our in community, make sure to check out On the Scene.