CENTRAL POINT, Ore.– Earlier this year, a man who inspired many in the community passed away after losing his battle with ALS. Since then, the organization he started, David’s Chair, has driven forward, holding a live auction last night to continue carrying the spirit of a man who didn’t give up.
“Giving people hope is what we want to do and then letting them get out and experience life in a better way,” said Steve Furst, David’s Chair’s CEO.
Spurred on by a man who continued to help others before himself, members of David’s Chair are carrying on David Hartrick’s legacy.
This weekend, a fundraising event was held at the Jackson County Fairgrounds to support the organization and those impacted by it.
“Basically we’re saying, ‘I can’ and that’s what the model is,” said Furst. “‘I can’ and do just about anything with David’s Chair out in the outdoors.”
With an array of auction items from desserts to hunting rifles, Saturday night’s event brought out many who are eager to help, such as Chris Seiffert.
Seiffert says he owns a cabin and would love for it to be a place the organization could use to bring people back into nature.
“Looking forward to helping out and being able to give back,” he said. “I know how it feels to be free in the woods after an injury. It’s pretty awesome.”
For Furst, that selfless contribution is what pushes them forward.
“I think it’s become hope. We’ve created hope for people that thought they would never going to be able to go on the sand,” he said. “Feel the ocean breeze on their face from actually the water’s edge.”
One person who did just that was Monique Kelly. After becoming paralyzed from a car accident, Kelly wasn’t sure she would ever be able to go to the beach with her 5-year-0ld son again.
“My parent’s live a block away from the beach so imagine driving by the ocean every day and you can’t go down on the sand,” she said.
But David’s Chair changed all of that and in the process gave Kelly the ray of hope she needed.
“I can’t emphasize enough what that experience,” she said, pausing to contain the emotions. “It brought joy to my life for one of the first times since my accident.”
The fundraising event ends with a poker tournament Sunday. The organization hopes to raise more than$27,000 to purchase new action chairs and expand the organization across the state to help more people like Seiffert and Kelly.