Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-- May 7, 2004

Cal Poly Students Raise $22,000 To Send Wheelchairs to Needy in Thailand

The Cal Poly chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation has raised enough money to send a container of 280 wheelchairs to Thailand this fall.

For the third year in a row, the Cal Poly chapter hosted a series of fund-raisers to purchase a container of wheelchairs. Thanks to the chapter's third annual Gift of Mobility Benefit, a benefit movie screening at the Fremont and individual fund-raising efforts, the chapter was able to raise $22,000.

Since 2001, students from Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business (OCOB) and College of Liberal Arts have organized the Gift of Mobility Benefit to help send wheelchairs to the needy all over the world. Proceeds from the events go directly to the Wheelchair Foundation, which matches the amount raised and purchases the wheelchairs to send to people in poor countries.

"All the money we have raised this year has all been for people in Thailand," said Ashley Cera, a student active in the Cal Poly chapter.

During this year's effort, students developed marketing materials, a media and public relations plan, and made presentations to numerous community groups including the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and the local Rotary and Kiwanis organizations.

Cal Poly students formed the chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation after hearing a speech from Wheelchair Foundation founder Kenneth Behring.

"The students became interested in the organization and decided to get involved after checking out the Wheelchair Foundation Web site and viewing its video footage," said OCOB Professor Lynn Metcalf.

After three successful years of involvement with the non-profit organization, the Cal Poly Chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation has so far raised more than $65,000 to deliver wheelchairs to Peru, Ethiopia
and Thailand.

"This organization has helped so many people who are in need around the world, particularly the elderly," said chapter event manager Kristin Wetmore.

For more details about the Cal Poly chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation, contact Metcalf at (805) 756-2010.
For more details on the national Wheelchair Foundation, visit its Web site at www.wheelchairfoundation.org.


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