This past spring, Atlanta had more concurrent rainy days than I ever remember. After 10 straight days of rain, a few tornado scares, and a 80% forecast for rain all day on Saturday, April 18th, the weather miraculously cleared about 20 minutes before the start of Ron Walker’s Tennis Wheelchair Instructional Clinics. With the first sign of sun we had seen in over a week, participants and volunteers came together to honor one very special young woman, Caroline Oswell.

Caroline, now 16 years old, has been participating in Ron Walker’s free tennis clinics for over 10 years. On this special April day, Ron brought to share with everyone pictures of Caroline from her first days in the program. Caroline normally borrows a used sports wheelchair to participate in the tennis clinics, but because of the generosity of the USTA Wheelchair Committee and Chattahoochee Foundation, Caroline was able to receive a brand new bright purple wheelchair of her own.

Ron Walker contacted Sportaid, Inc to order a Quickie Match Point sports-chair. This sports wheelchair normally retails at $3,750.00, but Sportaid, Inc. agreed to sell the chair at $2,000 to stay within the confines of the grant allowance. Jimbo Boyd, a long-time friend of Ron Walker, did all the measurements and fittings for Caroline’s chair as a courtesy to Caroline at no-cost. The USTA Wheelchair grant for $1,000 and the Chattahoochee Foundation contribution for $1,000 were combined to purchase the chair.

Caroline and her family were delighted and overwhelmed to receive the surprise sports wheelchair. All participants and volunteers present at Ron Walker’s clinic celebrated Caroline’s good fortune with pizza, drinks, and desserts. Truly, it was a wonderful day and unforgettable experience for this young woman. Please take a moment to view the Smilebox recap of the wheelchair presentation.

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