#20 - Ella Chafee, Guard
Years Experience: 24 years in basketball, 39 years overall
Authorizer, Social Securuty Administration (retired)
Wheelchair Athletic Career
** 2005 NWWBT Champion
** RIC Fitness, Sports and Recreation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006
for and competed in 25 consecutive National
Wheelchair Games/National Championships in the adult division, the only woman
known to have accomplished this.
**Has won over 100 national and international gold, silver and bronze medals as well as more local and Regional medals than anyone has thought to keep track of. Ella has been the National Slalom Champion more often than any other wheelchair athlete, male or female, and has been selected for eight major international competitions, including THREE Paralympics. She is a former national record holder in the 50-yard backstroke, 800 meter dash, and 1500 meter run and once held TWO World Records in swimming.
**A Life Member of Wheelchair Sports U.S.A., Ella was honored in 1990 by induction into the Wheelchair Sports U.S.A. Hall of Fame. Additionally, because of her years of experience in wheelchair sports, Ella was recently appointed to the Hall of Fame committee of Wheelchair Sports, USA by Cliff Crase, chairman of the committee.
**One of only five women who qualified to enter the 1979 Boston Marathon, finishing 20th in a field of 30 male & female wheelchair racers.
the 1996 Atlanta
Paralympics, Ella competed in the women's foil and epee' and the
women's team foil and epee'. She
was the top American woman finisher
in foil, finishing 8th in the world.
** Ella has competed in athletics (track & field), swimming, archery, basketball and, most recently, fencing. She is currently co-captain of her women's wheelchair basketball team and has been selected as the "Most Valuable" player several times.
instrumental in co-founding and co-organizing four women's wheelchair basketball
teams: the Windy City Spitfires,
the Chicago Charmers, the Chicago Express and the RIC Express.
**Co-founder and current vice president of the Chicagoland Area Women's Wheelchair Sports Association, a multi-sport cross-disability umbrella group serving Chicago and the six "collar counties".
member of the
Central States Wheelchair Athletic Association (CSWAA). Member
of the CSWAA Board of Directors (seven years).
President of CSWAA
lecturer for Project C.H.A.N.G.E., a Federally
sponsored program to eliminate misconceptions concerning persons
a Senior Leader of the Girl Scouts of America, Ella is believed to be the only fully active wheelchair-confined Girl Scout
leader in the State of Illinois. She was also named a "Woman of Distiction"
by the Girl Scouts of America.
Chafee was selected as "Handicapped Employee of the Year" by the
Social Security Administration, the largest civilian Federal agency.
She was recruited by the Social Security Administration after graduating
from the University of Illinois.
During her professional tenure
she has been honored by receiving the Commissioner's Award for Excellence,
the Regional Commissioner's Community Service Award and the Hammer Award.
**In August of 1996, the mayor of Oak Lawn, Illinois, proclaimed August 27, 1996 "Ella M. Chafee" day in the Village of Oak Lawn in recognition of her contributions to her county and community.
1998, Ella was the recipient of the prestigious Harold Scharper Award,
the highest award given by the University of Illinois' Division of
Rehabilitation Education Services. This
award was given for her "Outstanding
lifetime achievement and...unceasing promotion of the abilities of persons with