Kathy Hare, a past president of the Spencerport Lions Club, hangs a “Wheels for Erika” T shirt on the railing of the gazebo.

Sue Marino is assisted by Kathy Hare as they decorate the new wheelchair adapted van being presented by the Spencerport Lions Club. Marino was the chairperson of “Wheels for Erika,” the fundraising effort to purchase the van for Erika.

Photographs by Walter Horylev

Spencerport Lions
Wheels for Erika
campaign a success

It was a cold day with a raw wind blowing across the Spencerport Gazebo area on Saturday, December 23, but there was a warm feeling in everyone’s heart at the presentation of the Wheels for Erika event. Chaired by Lions Club member Sue Marino, the event happened because, after a two-and-one-half year effort, the Spencerport Lions Club raised $15,868, and the remainder of the $23,000 van purchase price came from fundraisers sponsored by various local organizations, school groups and individuals. This was truly a community effort.

About 30 people, including area media, were present as the wheelchair-adapted van wheeled into the Gazebo area. Erika was lowered out and down on the built-in elevator platform to the smiles and welcome of the spirited volunteers who made it all happen. After appropriate remarks, Sue Marino presented the keys to the van to Dan Daugherty, accompanied by applause from the attendees. It was a Christmas come early and much appreciated by the family.

Other supporters and donators to the project included: The Lions Clubs of Webster, Greece Ridge, Churchville, Hamlin and Penfield, the Amerks Booster Club, The Constantine/Moss Memorial Golf Tournament, AutoCrafting in Henrietta (who donated a TV and DVD player in the van), Celebrity Tours of Rochester, The Sports Connection in Macedon, St. John the Evangelist Church, Rochester Italian Charities, Doan Dodge, Barton’s Parkside Hots, B&G Services, McGinnity’s Restaurant, local bands: Johnny Bauer & The Great Escape, Retroactive and Trailer Jam and many local organizations and hundreds of individuals who gave donations ranging in size from pennies at the schools to $250 each.

Below, the Daugherty family, David, mother Enza holding Jonathan, Erika, father Dan and members of the Spencerport Lions Club pose for a celebration picture to end the presentation. “We’re just overwhelmed and amazed that it happened!” Dan said.

December 31, 2006