St. Catherine Hospital was privileged to host the Garden City leg of the “Ride for Mobility” over the Memorial Day Weekend. The bicycle ride across the nation is a mission to raise awareness and funds for Free Wheelchair Mission, founded by Don Schoendorfer and Dr. Mike Bayer, a former Garden City resident. Free Wheelchair Mission developed an inexpensive wheelchair that meets a wide range of needs, and distributes them at no cost to the physically disabled poor in developing countries on a non-discriminatory basis. The average cost in 2006 to manufacture, ship and distribute a wheelchair is $44.40, an extraordinarily modest investment that provides mobility, restores dignity, and changes the life of the recipient.
Special events marked the weekend beginning with a special welcome at the front portico of St. Catherine Hospital when the team arrived in Garden City on Saturday evening. Don and Mike were presented with special certificates of appreciation for their vision and dedication to their mission by Scott Taylor, President and CEO of St. Catherine Hospital. Taylor noted that there is a great similarity in the mission of both SCH and Free Wheelchair Mission in that both are working to build healthier communities one person at a time. Dick Strandmark, SCH Board member and his wife Jean held a reception and presentation at their home for many community members including several SCH physicians. A public rally was held on Memorial Day where the two were presented with the Key to the City by Mayor Mesa and the public had the opportunity to hear Don and Mike share their stories of inspiration. As a result of the hard work of the Strandmark family and hospital associates the weekend events were a tremendous success. Over $25,000 was raised from the community for the Ride for Mobility.
If you would like more information on FreeWheelchair Mission you can log on to their website, www.freewheelchairmission.org. One of the wheelchairs is on display at St. Catherine Hospital as well as information and self addressed envelopes for donations. Please feel free to stop by find out more about this great mission.