Skip to main content
Tag

donation

Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

By General Posts

by Kelly Byer from https://www.cantonrep.com

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer get back on the road.

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head.

Makers for Veterans

The Colorado-based nonprofit Challenge America began the Makers for Veterans program (CAMVETS) in 2019. It brought together volunteers with various expertise to solve challenges posed by veterans.

Dallas Blaney, executive director of Challenge America, said the inspiration came from a similar initiative in Israel. Challenge America members participated in the international program and wanted to recreate the experience in the United States.

Blaney described it as “human-centered design applied to the veterans space.” The process begins by asking participants, selected from across the nation, what they want to do that they haven’t been able to.

“That forces the veterans to frame their challenges in a positive way,” Blaney said.

A team — built “from scratch” — with skills relevant to the individual’s challenge then meet at a kickoff event. That is followed by about eight weeks of planning and work culminating in a three-day workshop.

CAMETS then works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners to identify prototypes to patent and undergo additional product development.

“So that we can get those promising solutions out to market where other veterans and civilians, too, can benefit from these things,” Blaney said.

CAMVETS coordinated a spring and fall program. From 17 total projects, Blaney said, the partners produced 15 working prototypes and, so far, filed for five provisional patents.

Blaney said a digital service dog application designed to help a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is expected to be the first product ready for market.

Both programs were held in the Cleveland area, not far from where Blaney grew up. He said the region has a great blend of medical, manufacturing, entrepreneurial, academic and innovative institutions.

The Cleveland Clinic, Bio Enterprise and St. Edward High School are some of CAMVETS’ partners.

“It just seemed like such an amazing fit, and it’s a very friendly place to do business,” Blaney said.

The nonprofit likely will host another program in Northeast Ohio this year, but only one. He said CAMVETS plans to expand to a new city.

Zollicoffer’s custom trike

De Ann Williams, executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission, heard about a CAMVETS opening during a conference and nominated Zollicoffer. It was the first she’d heard about the organization, but she thought the program might produce a longer-lasting prosthetic leg.

Zollicoffer used to play basketball and entered the program thinking he’d leave with a prosthetic for athletic activities.

“With the level of my amputation, that was close to impossible,” he said. “So they started asking questions.”

Zollicoffer, who grew up riding motorcycles, then told his team he’d like to ride again.

“As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I understood and respected that,” Williams said.

Zollicoffer worked ’hand-in-hand” with his team as the plan evolved — from modifying his prosthetic leg to modifying a three-wheeled motorcycle. However, he said he wasn’t privy to the end product until the Veteran’s Day reveal.

When he was asked to visit a Harley Davidson store as the project wound down, Zollicoffer began to wonder if he’d get a new trike. He later learned that sitting on a $35,000 motorcycle was more for measurement.

The engineers, students and other makers on Team Z turned a two-wheel 1972 Harley Davidson into a trike by replacing the rear portion with wheels from a 1978 Mustang. They also moved the typical, left-side motorcycle gears to the right.

“So, it was a totally customized job,” Zollicoffer said.

Community comes together

After he saw the trike, Zollicoffer saw the executive director of the Stark County Veterans Service Commission.

“I turned around and there’s De Ann standing there,” he said. “That’s when it became clear to me that the whole outreach team got together and they did this thing.”

CAMVETS has paid the “lion share” of most projects, Blaney said. The local commission, though, was tasked with raising $5,000 to buy the bike, which was complemented by donated parts.

Williams said she believes the plan to have the bike donated didn’t work out, so the commission reached out to area service organizations. They had the money within a few days.

“I was just beside myself,” she said. “I couldn’t believe the community came together like that.”

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 was the major donor. Others were American Legion Post 548, American Veterans Post 124, and Coyote Motorsports.

DAV Commander David May said the project aligned with the group’s mission to assist disabled veterans.

“We’re happy to do it,” he said.

Those involved with CAMVETS said they were glad to learn of the program and plan to volunteer or recommend it to other veterans in the future. Zollicoffer said he made “lifelong friends.”

“We’ll definitely stay in touch with CAMVETS,” Williams said. “I think that that’s definitely going to be a partnership that I hope lasts for a long time.”

York City Police Department receives motorcycle donation

By General Posts

by Valeria De Leon from https://fox43.com

York – It’s the season of giving and one York County police department has a new ride thanks to a local organization.

America’s 911 Foundation donated a brand new 2019 Harley-Davidson police motorcycle to the York City Police Department on Saturday.

Each year, the organization gives away a motorcycle to police departments, this one is the 20th one they have donated to police.

Chief Troy Bankert York City Police said the motorcycle unlike a vehicle, helps them spark a conversation with the community and better their relationship.

“It gives us a good opportunity to interact with the community without being inside of a car, it’s more personal but at the same time it lets us have some mobility,” said Chief Bankert.

“These are people who protect us and put their lives on the line every day,” said Roger Flick, America’s 911 Foundation promotions manager, “and they want to keep their community safe and we want to help them do that.”

The organization also holds a motorcycle ride to remember those who lost their lives on September 11th.

The York Police Department takes part in that ride, so organizers said they were more than happy to announce the winners of this year’s raffle.

The Big Climb Event Seattle from AVON TYRES

By General Posts

Hi Family and Friends! March 22 our Stair Busters team will be participating in The Big Climb Seattle. It feels like Jack climbing the Beanstalk as you go higher and higher. Jack traded a cow for magic beans. I am hoping you will trade a few “magic beans” for the thrill of “climbing” with me to support the fight against Leukemia. Today is Giving Tuesday.

Please click the link below this text. Your “magic beans” will help make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers.

https://www.llswa.org/site/TR?pg=pfind&fr_id=1650&fr_search_type=team

What is the Big Climb?

The Big Climb is a stairclimb up the Columbia Center – the tallest skyscraper in downtown Seattle. There are 69 floors of stairs, 1311 steps, and 788 feet of vertical elevation. Although it will be challenging, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients go through. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Who is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Every day, more than 347 LLS sponsored researchers come closer to the goal of finding a cure for leukemia and related blood cancers. Locally, LLS funds 10 researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington Medical Center. Your support and commitment to the mission of LLS enables us to continue this important work of saving lives and aids us in our ability to reach patients in our community.

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will consider donating to this cause!

–Sukoshi

Cooper/AVON Tyres

Motorcycle gang donates RM25k to Kelantanese dad with special needs kids

By General Posts

by TAN MEI ZI from https://www.malaymail.com

They may look like rebels but a group of Malaysian motorcyclists proved that they have hearts of gold after helping a single father and his special needs children.

In a Facebook post, Geng Motorsport member Aresif Pok Are shared how the group collected donations totalling RM25,140 for Mohd Zain Abdullah, whose three children are living with cerebral palsy.

Mohd Zain gave up his job to look after them after his wife passed away from breast cancer in 2016, Berita Harian reported.

When he returned to work, the Kelantanese father-of-seven could only take up a job as a carpenter near his house as he needed to commute back home frequently to attend to his children’s needs.

Mohd Zain’s 21-year-old son also had to put off work to help care for his younger siblings who require assistance with everyday tasks such as bathing and eating.

The family’s story of hardship caught the attention of Geng Motorsport after it made the rounds on social media and WhatsApp groups.

Made up of motorcycle clubs from Kelantan and Terengganu, the Geng Motorsport members banded together to ride to Mohd Zain’s residence in Kampung Kok Keli to present him with a monetary gift to ease his burdens.

The group’s spokesperson Ardy Datok Agos added that it was the biggest donation the group has ever collected throughout their history of charitable deeds, according to KitaReporters.

Aresif said they continued to receive financial aid for Mohd Zain even up until the last minute.

“Thank you to everyone who donated, even up until the last second there were still people who wanted to contribute.

“The struggles faced by Mohd Zain truly touched our hearts and we pray that he remains strong and under God’s care always,” wrote Aresif.