The following article appeared in ThisWeek Newspapers of the northern Columbus, OH, suburbs today:
Wheelchair races to bring awareness of challenges
Thursday, August 25, 2005
By NICOLLE RACEY
ThisWeek Staff Writer
In an effort to raise money and awareness of the day-to-day struggles faced by those with disabilities, Goodwill Industries will host a first-ever Wheel-a-Thon in Delaware County.
Goodwill Industries, which serves Delaware, Marion, Union, Crawford and Morrow counties, will stage the event at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in front of the Goodwill store in the Delaware Square Shopping Center. The goal, Goodwill executive director Bob Jordan said, is to raise awareness and funds for the organization.
“We are excited to be offering this opportunity to the Delaware area,” Jordan said.
The event consists of a race of able-bodied persons, but in wheelchairs.
“Our aim is to provide a fun and exciting event for all of our participants. But this also provides an opportunity to heighten public awareness of the challenges faced in day-to-day living.”
Goodwill has successfully held the event in Marion County for 15 years.
“We are certainly excited to be bringing this event to the Delaware community. Delaware has always provided great support and understanding of our mission. This is one way we feel we can give back to the community,” Jordan said.
Competing in the Wheel-A-Thon will be teams of three persons each.
As part of the events during that day, the wheelchair round-up will provide a free service for wheelchair owners, making minor repairs and offering consultations. Each chair will receive a “tune-up” including a power wash, inspection and repairs, said Jordan.
This service is sponsored by Marion Area Physical Therapy Services with support from Grace Brethren Church Youth Group. The youth groups invites the public to bring wheelchairs not in use to donate to Wheels-for-the-World.
“This program collects and distributes wheelchairs to the disabled in over 60 countries. If you would like to donate a wheelchair but cannot attend the event, we encourage you to drop the wheelchair off at the Delaware Goodwill,” Jordan said.
The money raised will go towards an earmarked capital improvement need, said Molly Baldosser of Goodwill.
Team registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. with races beginning at 10 a.m. and ending around noon, when one team is declared the winner.
During race day, Goodwill also will hold a 50/50 raffle and an auction. Refreshments will be available. All proceeds will help Goodwill in the Delaware community with program and capital funding needs.