Having many people come together and knowing you’re not alone is an amazing feeling . You want to repay the people who helped you, but it’s not always that easy. So, you simply give back by paying forward.
Tanner Conway, Best Buddies member, has been wheelchair bound since birth. He has been using a ramp van for transportation all his life. Tanner’s family’s current ramp van, one of his only forms of transportation, is falling apart after years of use. Between Tanner, Lisa, and Brian Conway, the current ramp van is being used for trips to the grocery store, medical appointments, everything.
Tanner’s mother and brother, Lisa and Brian Conway have reached out to the surrounding community through GoFundMe, an online fundraising website. With the goal of $15,000, the family is looking to replace it with a van within working condition. However, the family is hoping to exceed the goal in order to get a better conditioned van that will allow them to put their minds at ease for longer.
According to their GoFundMe page, Tanner’s current ramp van has been falling apart. All the money that has been saved up to buy a new van is being drained into the current van in order to keep it functional. With constant trips to the auto shop, the van is struggling to keep up with being the family’s main source of transportation.
Best Buddies recently held a bottle and can drive in order to raise money for the Woodland Regional Best Buddies chapter. The fundraiser was a great opportunity for people to come together to help raise funds for the chapter while having fun at the same time. Many buddies and parents from the chapter came to help, including Mary Ellen Pec, one of the buddies’ mom. Years ago the community helped the Pec family, so she realized it was her turn to give back. Pec recognized the success of the fundraiser and considered how Tanner, one of the Best Buddies members, can benefit from it.
On March 19th, Best Buddies hosted a bottle and can drive in order to raise both awareness and money for the Conway family to get a new ramp van. Pec organized the whole fundraiser walking in with an initial goal of $1000, but after seeing everyone come together as quick as they did, she realized the goal would be surpassed. Since not everyone was able to donate to the bottle and can portion of the fundraiser, many donations were given to help the Conway family get the new ramp van that is much needed. Even though the goal would be exceeded, Pec didn’t expect the goal to be nearly doubled. Through the fundraiser, the Conway family was thrilled to hear that $2000 was added to their budget for a new van. This can help the family put their minds at ease for a couple more years.
Many people missed the fundraiser to donate, but they still have the opportunity to give donations at https://www.gofundme.com/q46rkwq4.