Special need for a special chair

Published 5:51 pm Saturday, January 30, 2016

In recent years, the Suffolk Ruritan and the Suffolk Elks clubs have made a concerted and laudable effort to honor and provide aid to wounded warriors throughout the area.

The groups’ annual veterans appreciation event provides a day of fun, food and prizes for local veterans and their families, and they plan to collaborate to present the 2016 version of the event on May 14.

This year, though, they’ve set their sights on a goal higher and better than any they’ve tried to reach in previous years. This time around, the groups want to donate a special all-terrain wheelchair to a wounded veteran, and they’re looking for help from the community to make the goal come to fruition.

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The TrackChair is a $13,000 specialty wheelchair that allows its users to go places most wheelchairs cannot — beaches, woods, hiking trails and other uneven surfaces.

A TrackChair would allow its user to go hunting or fishing — or just to go outside and play with his or her children.

Thanks to the Suffolk Rods and Muscle Cars Club, which has donated $4,700, the proceeds from a car-show fundraiser, the Ruritans and Elks are about a third of the way toward the total cost of providing one of these chairs to a deserving veteran.

But they still need help, and the time is short. To donate for the track chair or the veterans appreciation event, send a check to Suffolk Ruritan Club, P.O. Box 667, Suffolk, VA 23439. Put “track chair” or “veterans appreciation” in the memo line.