Gannon University Faculty and Students Secure Grant for Special Wheelchairs to Provide Community Beach Access
Posted: August 4, 2018
The Erie Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling over
$4.6 million to 18 Erie non-profit groups. The Erie Community
Foundation (ECF) is a collection of over 700 charitable endowments
operating under the administrative umbrella of a single public
charity. A portion totaling over $6,000 has been awarded to the
Erie County Chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation. Twilight Wish
Foundation is a national organization whose mission is to honor and
enrich the lives of deserving older adults.
Gannon University Doctor of Physical Therapy students and
faculty member, Julie Hartmann, have engaged with the Twilight Wish
Foundation to provide access to Presque Isle State Park beaches for
older adults and for those individuals with disabilities. The grant
received will go toward the purchase of two beach wheelchairs and
one Mobi-chair, which is a special wheelchair designed to go into
the water. These new chairs will complement the two beach
wheelchairs that were purchased in 2013 with a similar grant from
ECF in collaboration with the Twilight Wish Foundation.
Julie Hartmann, assistant professor of Gannon's physical therapy
program and director of the Twilight Wish Foundation, explained the
mission behind this initiative.
"The board of the National organization had tasked each chapter
to seek out what was special in their area," said Hartmann. "The
peninsula is a wonderful place for people to go. We know that so
many people go down to the peninsula, drive around and look at the
sunsets. We wanted those individuals to be able to access the beach
and the water safely."
Through engagement with this local non-profit, Gannon University
Doctor of Physical Therapy students and faculty member, Julie
Hartmann, have helped provide mobility on Presque Isle to people
who otherwise wouldn't be able to reach the beachfront.