Rotary District 6960 District Governor Cyndi Doragh is pleased to announce that the district has donated more than $140,000 to the Wheelchair Foundation in the past year. This level of funding will provide mobility to approximately 1,400 people in need through the foundation, which aims to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one but cannot afford one.
Since the early 2000s, Rotary has partnered with the foundation, which in 2015 delivered its one-millionth wheelchair since its inception. Upon assuming her position as District Governor, Doragh named the Wheelchair Foundation as the beneficiary of her year-long community service project, which culminated at the District Conference last month.
While most of District 6960’s wheelchairs had been delivered to needy countries in the Caribbean, Central America and parts of South America, Doragh turned the focus to the need within the Southwest Florida community. Under her leadership, the district’s 50 Rotary clubs accepted the challenge to provide 1,100 wheelchairs, at a cost of $110,000, over the course of the year. By the first of May, funding for approximately 900 wheelchairs had been raised.
At the District Conference, held May 12-15, Wheelchair Program Chairman Steve Agius presented 30 wheelchairs to Rev. Dr. Israel Suarez, founder and CEO of Nations Associations Charities, who introduced two of the recipients, Maria and Francisco. Ten wheelchairs were presented to Ralph Santillo, founder and president of Invest in America’s Veterans.
Conference attendees rallied to raise enough additional funds to purchase 200 more wheelchairs, surpassing Doragh’s goal, with donations continuing even after the conference to exceed $140,000 as of June 1.
Rotary is an international organization of business and community leaders working together through friendships and building relationships in an effort to serve others and do good in the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender or political preference. There are more than 32,000 clubs worldwide composed of 1.2 million individual members. Rotary District 6960 in Southwest Florida has more than 50 clubs.
Rotary’s purpose is to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Rotary’s primary motto is “Service Above Self;” its secondary motto is “One profits most who serves best.” For more information visit RotaryDistrict6960.org.