On Oct. 18, Miami Elks Lodge #948 held a presentation for Wheelchairs 4 Kids. Lonnie and Madeline Robinson, the founders of this organization, work in conjunction with Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services therapists who visit children in their homes and administer treatment. They are aware of kids who are in need of wheelchairs and ask for the lodge's help in securing them because their parents cannot afford them. The Elks presented a wheelchair to 15-year-old Julian who has cerebral palsy with spastic diplegia and a gait trainer to 15-year-old Jose who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. Their faces and their parents' faces lit up at the presentation. Julian immediately looked comfortable in his up-to-date custom-made wheelchair. Jose, who can only stand with support on both sides, has been wheelchair-bound. The gait trainer enabled him to move his legs and walk with the support of his new apparatus. He smiled and moved around the lodge dining room with ease, and when asked if he was happy, he said "yes, now I can walk with my friends at school." Through members' time and effort volunteering at lodge charity events, members are able to change people's lives for the better.
Pictured at Miami Lodge’s Wheelchairs 4 Kids presentation Oct. 18 are Scott McGowan, Custom Mobility rep; Jose Ricardo Sanchez in his new gait trainer; Patricia Avila; Julian Lopez in his new wheelchair; Daniel Heidenreich, Julian's father; Mallerly Romero, Julian's mother; and Lonnie Robinson, Wheelchairs 4 Kids board member. Lodge officers Will Garzitz, Nancy Carr, Al Reker, Kathy Held and Frank Reynolds are pictured in the back row.