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MobilityWorks Opens New Location Near Buffalo, New York

MobilityWorks is excited to announce the opening of our newest location in Amherst, NY just Northeast of Buffalo. Our showroom will be located at 3560 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY 14226 just off of 290 East at the Sheridan/Millersport intersection. This will be the 70th MobilityWorks location across 24 states.

“MobilityWorks is very excited to be expanding to serve the Buffalo market”, said Joe Canda, Midwest Regional Manager of MobilityWorks. “With a full line of adaptive solutions available, including service and rentals, we will be able to provide the right wheelchair accessible solution for the unique needs of our clients.”

On November 2nd and 3rd 2017, the store will be holding a Grand Opening Event which will include special offers, test drives of various vehicle options, and a staff meet and greet. Normal showroom hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM M-F, with Saturday hours by appointment only. Pre-scheduled appointments are recommended for arranging a free needs analysis and mobility consultation.

Lou Catalano will be the General Manager of the Amherst location and brings with him years of experience from the automotive industry. He’s looking forward to serving the community and providing adaptive solutions for clients all over Western New York.

To RSVP to the Grand Opening Event or schedule an appointment, call 716-342-3530 or go to www.mobilityworks.com/rsvp

Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant – Women Who Inspire

As a sponsor of the 2018 Ms. Wheelchair America pageant, we were fortunate to be present as Sheri Melander-Smith was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2018.  Her platform of “Living Forward” inspires all of us to be the best vision of what we dream our lives to be.  Sheri believes that the most important achievement is to serve others.

For one week in August, constants from 25 states competed for the crown of Ms. Wheelchair America 2018 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Participants had a full week packed with activities including interviews, workshops and appearances; culminating with the presentation of their platform speeches. For Sheri Melander-Smith, the media attention was nothing new, as she is no stranger to the spotlight! At the age of 18, Sheri won the Midwest title for the “Face of the 80’s” as part of the Ford Agency’s competition in New York City. For the next six years, she traveled the world for photo shoots, commercials and was even on the pilot episode of the longstanding soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”.

At the age of 25 Sheri suffered a spinal aneurysm and chose to end her modeling career. She enrolled at UCLA, and upon graduation returned to Minnesota where she earned an MBA and master’s in psychology. Almost 15 years later her spinal aneurysm returned, and upon waking up from surgery Sheri had lost the use of her legs. Melander-Smith did not let the diagnosis hold her back as she quickly became a spokeswoman and advocate for the wheelchair community. Sheri returned to television with a cable program called ‘Living Forward’ and began writing for local publications and newspapers. Now that she is Ms. Wheelchair America, Sheri will be very busy over the next year sharing her message “Living Forward”.

One of her first scheduled appearances was earlier this month at the Boston Abilities Expo, where Sheri met with attendees and exhibitors displaying the latest in adaptive technology. As Ms. Wheelchair America, Melander-Smith will be in attendance at all of the Abilities Expos in the United States over the next year. Sheri also just returned from Hawaii where she visited several hospitals and was also able to enjoy the beautiful views from Waikiki beach.

Over the next year, she is most excited for her several trips to Washington D.C. “I look forward to meeting with National organizations and influencers who can help make a difference” Sheri stated “Past winners have had the opportunity to meet the president and I am currently working on scheduling a meeting with President Trump”. Sheri will also get the opportunity to watch her son play basketball on these trips. Oliver is a 6’10  Sophomore Center for the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Sheri is just one of the many women we met at this year’s pageant that inspired us. Throughout the next several months we will be sharing with you the women, their advocacy and why they inspire all of us.  Follow us on Facebook to ensure you don’t miss their stories.

To learn more about the pageant you may visit www.mswheelchairamerica.org or click here  to be added to their weekly email list “Wheel Wednesday News” for the latest updates including state pageant contests and news from Sheri and past winners.

Canine Partners for Life and MobilityWorks Team Up: Help Us Name a Puppy

Photo from Canine Partners for Life https://www.facebook.com/CaninePartnersforLife

For over 25 years Canine Partners for Life has been dedicated to training service dogs to assist individuals all over the country. MobilityWorks General Manager Jerald Ochsner has worked with their organization for years, and with a new group of puppies arriving soon they have asked for our help to pick a name!

Canine Partners for Life owns a 45-acre property in Cochranville, PA that houses a state-of-the-art training facility. They have placed over 650 service and companion dogs in homes where they help bring independence and a better quality of life to their owners. The total cost to raise, train, place and provide lifetime support for a service dog can be incredibly expensive. As a non-profit organization, Canine Partners for Life only asks that a fraction of this cost be donated by recipients of their service dogs.

In addition to traditional service dogs that help people with physical limitations, Canine Partners for Life also trains seizure and cardiac alert dogs that can warn their owner if they are in danger. They are one of the few organizations worldwide that train seizure alert dogs. The majority of the service dogs they train are Labrador retrievers, but they sometimes work with golden retrievers, poodles and labradoodles.  Poodles are a popular breed of service dog because they are hypo-allergenic.  

At any given time, Canine Partners for Life has 50 to 60 puppies being raised by volunteers. Caregivers raise the puppy for 8-10 months and are responsible for providing basic obedience training and exposure to public environments. Around the time of the puppies 1st birthday they return back to the training facility where they perfect their obedience skills and start to learn the very specialized tasks they will be required to perform.

One very important step to begin this training process is picking the service dog’s name. Canine Partners for Life has asked Mobilityworks for assistance in this process.  The employees at MobilityWorks have narrowed it down to 5 names and now we need your help by voting for your favorite name below.
Voting ends October 25th.

Top 10 Wheelchair Halloween Costumes

For the past several years, we have noticed there have been some incredibly creative costumes that have been designed and constructed by people using wheelchairs. We have seen everything from scary to silly, and some that are absolutely stunning! With a few weeks left before Halloween, we decided to put
together a list of our ten favorite costumes from past years, and we look forward to seeing what everyone dreams up later this month.

Mini Bulldozer Bobcat – Not only is this idea creative, but look at all the room he has for carrying candy!

DJ Booth – You are definitely going to be the life of the party if you come dressed as a DJ

Anything Star Wars – There are plenty of options for Star Wars fanatics from R2D2 to any of the space ships

Game of Thrones – We expect to see several “Iron Thrones” this year inspired by the popular HBO series and top-selling fiction series

Drummer – This could be a great cheap costume, or you could really go over the top

Cinderella’s Carriage – The perfect costume for your princess

Back to The Future – The Delorean will always be a cool costume

Wheel of Fortune – Here is a good costume if you’re looking to put something together last minute

UFO – A great idea if you are looking for something a little scary

Hot Air Balloon –This was made from burlap, rope, a beach ball, and lots of glue and tape

United States Shines at 2017 Invictus Games

Photo from Invictus Games: https://www.facebook.com/invictuslondon/

On Saturday evening, the 3rd annual Invictus Games held their closing ceremony, and several members of the United States team will be returning home from Toronto as champions. The week long event gained worldwide media attention thanks to appearances from current First Lady Melania Trump and former President Barrack Obama. 90 participants from the United States competed in both individual and team events, with many of them bringing back medals!

One of the most impressive performances at the Invictus Games came from United States Marine Corp Veteran and mother Sarah Rudder, who won five gold medals! Rudder won four medals in track and field events, and added a fifth gold with a team win in the one-minute rowing competition. She also won a silver medal in the four minute rowing contest, and a bronze medal as a member of the sitting volleyball team.

For the United State’s men, several individuals won multiple medals. Josh Lindstorm took gold and silver in archery events, and also won a bronze medal as part of the US golf team. Nathaniel Hamilton picked up a gold and silver medal in swimming events, while Brant Ireland earned a bronze and silver medal in cycling.

The final medal of the weekend was at stake when the United States wheelchair basketball team took on the Netherlands. The United States cruised past Denmark in the semi-finals with a 42-17 victory, but met a very determined and talented Netherlands team in the final. In front of a packed gymnasium, the United States was able to secure a 55-51 victory and yet another gold medal!

The 2018 Invictus Games are scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia from October 20-27. Next year, ABC will broadcast several events and the ceremonies of the 2018 Invictus Games nationally. Don’t miss a moment!

Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed in this years events, and a special thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made the games possible!