National Mobility Awareness Month Winners Announced

Winners of the 2016 National Mobility Awareness Month contest that awarded wheelchair-accessible vehicles to “local heroes” have been announced.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) named three winners of the contest on June 28.

In preparation for May’s awareness month, contestants told their stories on a Mobility Awareness Month Web Site, and Web site visitors then voted for their favorites. The NMEDA news announcement said all three winners were among the top 10 percent of vote recipients. From there, their stories were judged by an independent industry panel.

John Rose, Lexington, Ky., was named the winner of the Seniors category. Dave Hastings, Coopersville, Mich., was the winner in the Caregivers category, and Steve Karmgard, Genoa, Ill., won in the General category.

American Honda Motor Corp., FCA U.S. (aka, Chrysler) and Toyota Mobility donated the vehicles for the giveaway. Vehicle conversions were donated by BraunAbility, ElDorado Mobility and Vantage Mobility International.

Rose, who has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), worked for nearly 40 years as a high school choir teacher in Miami. He created a non-profit organization called “Where Every Child Is a Star” to provide opportunities for children to attend educational camps. The news announcement said Rose would use his new accessible vehicle to “allow him to attend concerts and continue to be part of the arts community.”

Hastings is the primary caregiver to his wife, Lori, who has muscular dystrophy. Several years ago, Hastings was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. To help families having financial difficulties due to medical expenses, the Hastings created Lori’s Voice, a non-profit organization that assists with medical expenses for children who have special needs.

Karmgard, who was injured in a diving accident at 18, is active as a volunteer for Canine Companions. He and his wife recently were recognized for raising more than $90,000 for their local Canine Companions chapter.

Winners are scheduled to receive their custom-modified vehicles this summer.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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