Vets serving vets
Non-profit provides wheelchairs
By Jane Myhra
Mobility 4 Vets Wheelchair Shop is celebrating five years of service to area veterans.
The non-profit organization collects, repairs, restores and redistributes motorized scooters, motorized and manual wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes and various items for veterans and other people with disabilities.
Mobility 4 Vets Wheelchair Shop, located at 270 Grand Seasons Drive, Waupaca, was founded in 2012 by six veterans who wanted to help other veterans.
Ken Tourville, Frank Shafer, Chuck Posnanski, Jack Knabenbauer, Alan Kjelland and Pete Petrick had previously volunteered at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Wheel Chair Shop located at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King. The shop closed in October 2011, and all remaining inventory was scrapped.
“We knew that the service we had provided was important to those with mobility issues,” said Ken Tourville, president of Mobility 4 Vets. “We knew there was a need, so we decided to begin operations anew, with a new name and a new location.”
The six retirees began to rebuild the inventory. They invested seed money to start the enterprise and also received support through a donation of a rent-free building and a pledge of maintenance work.
Currently run by a group of 15 volunteers, Mobility 4 Vets strives to provide the necessary equipment for veterans and also for non-veterans who suffer from many types of restrictive disorders.
“We accept many donated items, give them a thorough going over, and when possible, put them back into good serviceable condition,” Tourville said. “The number of repairs to be made requires a large inventory of spare parts and a consistent cash flow for purchasing essential parts and equipment to put these units back into good working order.”
To make a donation of equipment or money, contact Mobility 4 Vets at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-281-6175 during office hours, which are between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Mobility 4 Vets Wheelchair Shop is a certified 501C3 charitable organization.