Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wheelchair Ramp in Rainier

Three Rainier groups got together and put up a wheelchair ramp for a couple in Rainier this weekend.  The aluminum ramp was donated by a fourth group: the Yelm American Legion Post 164. 

Chris Beck (Rainier Lions Club), Wolf Hansen (American Legion Post 264) & George Johnson (Rainier Community Cares) completed most of the installation on Saturday, February 28th.  They came back on Sunday to finish up the final touches.  

Story Below - By:  Chris Beck

It was a WONDERFUL feeling when it was completed and a gorgeous day to spend 5 hours in the sun with a fellow Lion doing a Lion / Legion Service Project and I get double credit :>) Just to fill some details on Mel and Elaine Hopstad, their just retired to Rainier last year and after only several months in their 'retirement cottage'; Elaine fell and broke her hip and she she could not take care of her husband a Navy retired, disabled Vietnam Vet and they both ended up in a nursing home. After her 1st hip replacement failed in short order and she needed another replacement, back they went into the nursing homes and this time the doctors were not letting either go home without a wheel chair ramp. 

The American Legion, Rainier Post 264 service officer, Bev Kevney. (Quentin's wife) called and talked with Elaine at the nursing home and without turning this story into a 'horror novel' about the VA system let me suffice to say all who knew the facts were concerned that after not being in their house for 4+ months it was going to take more effort by someone to make this happen. George Johnson was ready to buy the wood and 'get 'er done' by next week rain or shine and you all know George when his mind is made up!  

Well, I had a line on a VA wheel chair ramp, but I had to catch the right person to get it. That is a lot how the VA wheel chair ramp availability works. Long story short: found it and the 'man' signed for it and called George to help move and erect it. I use the term 'erect' loosely as it was the closest thing we have done since 'Erector Sets' as kids :>) I had a blast and again the most wonderful feeling of relief when it was erected. 

I would like to make 1 tiny suggestion. If George can get neighbor Judy Stancel to keep him updated on heir 'homecoming'; I would like the Rainier Lions and American Legion to give this couple ( that themselves have never asked for anything)  a welcome home to Rainier party!  What do you all think?

Yours in Service,  Chris Beck, RLC Tail Twister and American Legion member

Chris Beck (left) & Wolf Hansen (right)

George Johnson

George Johnson & Chris Beck

Chris Beck (left) & Wolf Hansen (right)

Wolf Hansen & the "RAMP!"