Milton Terrace Students Give the Gift of Mobility to their Classmate
BALLSTON SPA – It’s the season of giving and students at Milton Terrace North Elementary School in Ballston Spa recently presented one of their classmates with a heartwarming surprise – the gift of mobility.
First and third grade students at Milton Terrace spent months raising money to fund a running chariot for their classmate, Hunter, to allow him more mobility. With help from the Evans, a local family of four, the students gave 6-year-old Hunter his new chariot at an assembly Monday, Dec. 15.
“It’s an amazing gift because as a parent of a child with special needs, you can’t always do everything with the family because your equipment is limited; it doesn’t always fit the event or activity that you want to do,” said Bekah, Hunter’s mother. “So sometimes, Brock and Garrett [Hunter’s brothers] will go with dad and Hunter and I will stay home, but that’s not the case any longer. We’ll get to do more activities as a family. Nobody has to sit on the sidelines and wait and watch, all five of us can go and do things together.”
Hunter’s chariot resembles the one used by 8-year-old Shamus Evans. Shamus was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair as his primary means of mobility. Last year, the Evans family was able to obtain a running chariot with the help of Ainsley’s Angels of America, a group that provides equipment to those with limited physical ability to help them participate in endurance events. With the help of his running chariot, Shamus was able to participate in running events and races with his dad, Shaun.
Shaun and Shamus, along with mom Nichole and younger brother, Simon, are currently preparing for a cross-country run next summer to raise money and awareness in the hopes of distributing more running chariots through Ainsley’s Angels of America.
“Our goal is to distribute 15 chariots across the country next summer – one for every state we run through,” said Shaun. “Once we get back from our expedition next summer, we’re going to start a local chapter of Ainsley’s Angels.”
The journey ahead is no easy feat, but Shaun says he’s preparing every day. Besides, this won’t be the first time Shaun and Shamus are put to the test, physically. In August 2013, the duo completed the Sweltering Summer 6 Hour race in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The race is a six-hour timed event on a loop, in which runners try to complete as many laps as possible in the allotted six hours. Shaun and Shamus ran 125 laps for a total of 45 miles, earning them first place overall.
“It melted my heart seeing Hunter today because we were on that end last year, when we received Shamus’ chariot from Ainsley’s Angels,” said Nichole. “Hunter’s presentation today is exactly why we do what we do. We want to give back the way we were given to.”
For more information on Ainsley’s Angels and the Evans Family, visit www.ainsleysangels.org/power-to-push.html.