FAIRVIEW, Texas — The Joseph S. Groh Foundation has donated a wheelchair accessible minivan to Rick Cook, of Baldwinsville, New York.
Cook was paralyzed in a snowmobile accident in January, 1999. Prior to that, he had worked for a local painters union ever since graduating from high school in 1985. The accident resulted in a C4-5 spinal cord injury, and since then Rick has lived with his parents, paying his expenses with money he receives from Social Security disability. His tight budget was continually being assaulted from expenses on his 1996 Dodge Ram B-2500 wheelchair van, which had 130,000 miles on it.
“The costly repairs seemed never ending,” said Cook. “It is nerve-racking to travel very far from home.”
Then, Cook learned about the Joseph Groh Foundation, and applied for a grant. The timing coincided with the advent of COVID-19, and the subsequent cancellation of 2020 fundraisers for the foundation. A generous grant from the foundation however was bolstered by funds raised at Service World Expo, which was held in San Diego during April. This included a match of all funds raised at the Expo by Ken Goodrich, president and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning. The result was that Cook received a pre-owned, 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan, with 29,000 miles purchased from Mobility Works.
“It is so nice to be able to see out the windows of my new van, and know that it won’t break down,” said Cook. “I love what you all have done in making my life as well as others so much better, and I can’t thank you enough.”