Local boy in contest for wheelchair vehicle

Southern Bus & Mobility, a dealer for wheelchair accessible vans and buses along with wheelchair/scooter lifts and other mobility equipment, joins the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association  to kick off the third annual National Mobility Awareness Month.
In celebration of the awareness month, NMEDA has created an online contest that will award three lucky winners with wheelchair accessible vehicles tailored to meet their specific needs. Sponsors Chrysler and Toyota have rallied together to provide the vehicles, which will later be customized by NMEDA manufacturers – the Braun Corp. and Vantage Mobility International (VMI).
Those eligible to win the wheelchair accessible vehicles are distinguished as Local Heroes.
Voting began on March 11 and closes on May 9, 2014. Winners are scheduled to be announced the last week of May.
Those nominated include 12-year-old Austin Kirk of Vandalia, who as of Tuesday afternoon had more than 10,000 votes.
To vote for Austin, go online to http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/austin-kirk-vandalia-il/.
Celebrating throughout the United States and Canada, the awareness month was created to educate seniors, veterans, caregivers and people with disabilities about the many wheelchair accessible vehicles and adaptive mobility equipment options available for living an active and mobile lifestyle.
“We’re delighted to continue this important movement after a successful two years,” said Dave Hubbard, executive director and CEO of NMEDA.
“We welcomed more than 1,225 story entries, had 2.3 million votes cast, created 1.2 billion impressions and delivered wheelchair accessible vans to three amazing Local Heroes. We remain humbled by the response and look forward to creating life changing experiences in the lives of this year’s winners.”
“People with disabilities have now emerged as the No. 1 minority group,” said Alan Gerdes, sales manager for Southern Bus & Mobility.
“Transportation is the key to freedom for many, whether on a social level or for an individual’s professional path.
"And through programs like National Mobility Awareness Month, we join more than 600 NMEDA members to assist people with disabilities in gaining their independence. It’s very fulfilling to develop lifelong relationships with our customers.”

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