The Oceano-5 Cities Elks Lodge donated a wheelchair to Operation Surf on Thursday that will give disabled veterans the opportunity to go on the beach.
The Veterans Committee at the Oceano-5 Cities Elks Lodge originally raised $14,000 over a three-year period to give a Central Coast resident a special wheelchair.
“There was one particular veteran who liked to go hunting, and when he lost the ability to go hunting, he lost part of his life, so this is an opportunity for us to give him part of his life back,” said Scott Alguire, President/CEO of the Oceano-5 Cities Elks Lodge.
Alguire said the man used the chair for a couple of years but when he realized he wasn’t using it to its full potential, he returned it to the Elks Lodge.
For about a year Alguire said the Elks Lodge had the chair but wasn’t using it, then they decided to donate it to Operation Surf so that veterans could use it to get onto the beach.
“This will be a great opportunity for us to get some of them out to the beach and give them a little bit of mobility,” Alguire said. “Somebody who has been pushing around a wheelchair for years now has a wheelchair that can go onto the beach.”
He said he knows Operation Surf will use this chair to the best of their abilities.
“They can take a sunset stroll on the beach with their wife if they’re here and they get that opportunity,” Alguire said. “Something that the rest of us could do any day of the week here, and someone who has never been to the beach, they get to do something that we take for granted.”