Wheelchair eight passenger-two wheelchair van comes to Community Living Manitoulin

Community Living Manitoulin employees Lisa Moore, left, and Tammie Molenaar (executive director of CLM), display the gently used full sized Promaster wheelchair van that has been purchased to benefit (CLM) residents in transporting them to events and activities. photo by Tom Sasvari

MINDEMOYA—Although fundraising efforts are still around $10,000 short of the goal, Community Living Manitoulin (CLM) has completed the purchase of a new wheelchair accessible transportation van.

“We did,” confirmed a jubilant CLM Executive Director Tammie Molenaar. “We decided to bite the bullet.” Costs for maintaining the previous van, originally purchased in 1990, were becoming prohibitive, with a significant hit coming from the failure of the lift mechanism last year.

The new van was purchased from Move Mobility, a company that specializes in such transport. “The 2017 rear lift Dodge Promaster wheelchair van with 159-inch wheelbase is now in stock,” noted Ms. Molenaar. “With the extreme heat and air system our passengers will be comfortable.” The van includes a very powerful heating and cooling system that adds a great deal to the comfort of its passengers in a Northern climate.

The vehicle is lauded on the Move Mobility website as being “ideal for those who fear the Canadian climatic challenges.”

The rear lift Promaster wheelchair van includes the full interior LED lighting package and the sturdy, hydraulic BraunAbility lift at the rear. The CLM’s new van comes configured for eight passengers and two wheelchairs. “With the AutoFloor system, you can add and remove the seats when you need,” said Ms. Molenaar.

The actual cost of the van tallies in at roughly $67,882, with a little over 7,000 kilometres on the odometer. “Move Mobility is a fantastic company to deal with,” said Ms. Molenaar. “The company brought the van up for us to take a look at. It is in great condition and there is enough room to take all our residents to activities and events.”

Although the fundraising efforts haven’t caught up to the sticker price, with about a $10,000 shortfall, Ms. Molenaar said she was confident that the bar will be met. “We have had such fantastic support from the community,” she said. “The Little Current Lions Club Catch the Ace has donated $7,000 and Manitoulin Transport made a very generous donation of $10,000 earlier this year.” Ms. Molenaar added that there have also been many individual donations and donations from Island businesses that have added to the kitty.

Those wishing to help the CLM fundraising effort reach the finish line are invited to send a cheque marked to that effect to Community Living Manitoulin, 6266 ON-542, Mindemoya, ON, P0P 1S0. “I will send them back a charitable receipt,” promised Ms. Molenaar