For the past 50 years the Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis Wheelchair Club has been serving the mobility needs of the local and extended community. In celebration of the long-standing history of service of its Wheelchair Club, the Wilkes-Barre Kiwanis Club will host the annual Thanksgiving Luncheon which is shared with the Wilkes-Barre Lions and Wilkes-Barre Rotary Clubs.
The community is invited to attend the Luncheon, which will be held at noon on Tuesday, November 20th at Genetti Hotel and Conference Center, 77 E. Market St., Wilkes-Barre. Presentations will be given by Betty McDonald from Complete Personal Home Care and Tamara Henderson from Bayada Nurses.
Started as a personal philanthropic service by prominent citizen Mrs. Paul Bedford in 1935, the local Kiwanis Club took over operation in 1962, at Mrs. Bedford's request. It continues to supply wheel- chairs, walkers, and other equipment locally, and chairs have been sent to all four corners of the globe!
Over the years, thousands of wheelchairs have been loaned or donated to residents of the area and all over the world. In partnership with international relief organizations, wheelchairs have been shipped to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and Central America, and to orphanages in Bulgaria and Jamaica.
Members of the Wheelchair Club have visited the White House on several occasions. A golden wheel chair was presented to Vice-President Hubert Humphrey in May 1965. In 1975 several wheelchairs were presented to First Lady, Mrs. Gerald Ford, and to Vice-President George Bush in January 1986.
When the government agencies or insurance companies won't provide equipment, the Wheelchair Club provides the wheelchairs and other equipment, which facilitate mobility for physically-challenged children and adults. The Wheelchair Club also accepts donations of mobility equipment for re-circulation. To donate equipment or to make a request, please contact the Wheelchair Club at 824-6096.
Kathryn Kovach, RN, from Elks Home Services states "I have an opportunity to see people with disabilities nearly every day. Most of them need therapy equipment that insurance companies don't pay for. That's where I can always count on the Kiwanis Wheelchair Clulb to provide the equipment for my patients! An individual who has an electric wheel chair, and who may also require a second chair for transport, isn't able to get another chair from the insurance company. Having the second chair, which can fold and be available for doctor's or therapy appointments, is a tremendous support! There was a young girl who needed a wheelchair, as well as a shower chair, after having had part of a toe amputated in an accident. I knew that all I needed to do was to call the Kiwanis Wheelchair Club and whatever was needed would be available."
To make a reservation for the Luncheon, please contact Rev. Ann Marie Acacio, 570-357-5824 or email@example.com,
(Information from Richard Kramer- WB Kiwanis Club)