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Making a Wheel Difference for kids in Didsbury

More than $10,000 raised to help handicapped children in Kenya
MVT make a wheel difference
Making a Wheel Difference participants line up following the parade. Dan Singleton/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - The first-ever Make a Wheel Difference event in Didsbury raised more than $10,000 to help handicapped children in Kenya receive much needed wheelchairs, officials said.

Held at the Didsbury Memorial Park on Sept. 25, the all-ages event saw participants use a variety of homemade conveyances, including one made from a toilet bowl, for a parade and judging contest.

About 80 people attended, with more than a dozen participants paying $25 to take part, with many other people on hand to watch and offer encouragement. Participants and organizers also garnered support from a variety of sponsors.

Organizer Karen Rispin explained that the effort aims to help kids live fuller lives.

“If children in Kenya don’t get the wheelchairs they need they are often hidden at home and they don’t get to go to school,” said Rispin said during the event. “We are hoping to be able to purchase several wheelchairs.

“If the parents hear that there is wheelchair available, they will bring the kids out and then they are able to join support groups and are able to understand there’s nothing shameful. They are encouraged.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Zion Church and the Town of Didsbury.

“People have come on board and are having fun,” she said. “The town really came on board to help, giving us a grant.”

Local businesses also helped out with sponsorships.