19th Annual Rockford Wheel-A-Thon to be held June 23

The 19th Annual Rockford Wheel-A-Thon is fast approaching, and this year’s goals are to recruit 300 participants and raise $150,000. The Rockford Wheel-A-Thon is the largest event of its kind in the nation, and with your help, it will only get bigger.

The Wheel-A-Thon supports the work of Regional Access & Mobilization Project, Inc., (RAMP) and the Rockford Chariots Wheelchair Athletic Association. Both organizations offer opportunities for people with disabilities to live active, productive lives.

The 19th Annual Rockford Wheel-A-Thon, which will be June 23, at 10 a.m. at RAMP, 202 Market St., serves two purposes:

1. To raise community awareness of the issues involved when using a wheelchair for mobility and the importance of accessibility. People with and without a disability participate in the Wheel-A-Thon by using a wheelchair to negotiate a 2-mile route. Wheelchairs provided.

2. To raise much-needed funds for RAMP and the Rockford Chariots. Approximately 225 participants/volunteers and 120 sponsors raised $130,000 in last year’s Wheel-A-Thon.

This year’s goals are a lofty $150,000 and 300 participants, but event coordinators feel it is attainable. Each year, there is an increase in the number of participants, pledge dollars and business sponsors. Once people participate in this event, they find it is a lot of fun, plus they like the fact they are helping to raise critical dollars for RAMP and the Chariots.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this family-friendly event. Aside from completing the route, highlights and activities include a wheelchair obstacle course, wheelchair basketball, adaptive recreation/sports demonstrations, the Hometown Buffet Bee, face painting and balloons, music by the Dixieland Docs, and more. The Wheel-A-Thon is followed by a free picnic lunch. All participants receive a Wheel-A-Thon T-shirt. Those who raise $100 or more will receive one or more gift certificate(s) to local businesses, value based on the dollar amount raised.

Major sponsors are Advanced Machine & Engineering, AMCORE Bank, Area Erectors, Bergstrom, Hamilton Sundstrand, Insight Media, Kar Korner, Kelley Williamson Company, Maverick Media, RSM McGladrey, SwedishAmerican Medical Foundation, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Van Matre HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, and Zenith Cutter.

from the June 13-19, 2007, issue

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