Phoenix Rotary 100 club has been participating in the funding and distribution of food and other needs to elders on the Navajo Reservation. The local Rotarians have been working with the prime sponsor of this full-time work, the Salt Lake City-based Adopt-a-Native-Elder (ANE) Program.

Members of Phoenix Rotary 100 who were on hand to present new wheelchairs to elders of the Navajo Nation included, standing from left: Steve Goldston, Bob Withers, Craig Wilson and Bryan McCay (submitted photo).

During one of last year’s food runs, local members Craig Wilson and Steve Goldston saw a need to replace many of the elders’ old and worn out wheelchairs. After discussing it with club member Bob Withers, Withers took the lead in the task of fundraising and providing wheelchairs.

Funding was provided by not only Phoenix Rotary Charities, but also the Arizona Community Foundation and other entities.

The chairs come from the Wheelchair Foundation, which purchases wheelchairs from several manufacturers in China that build a quality product designed to be easily maintainable in developing countries. The wheelchairs are specifically designed for rough conditions. Extra heavy wheels, tires, and front casters, sealed bearings and nylon seating make these wheelchairs the best possible solution for most conditions.

Working with the Phoenix Rotary 100 committee, ANE identified elders on the Reservation who were in need, their wheelchair size and location. In August, club member and ANE board member Bryan McCay took delivery of over 100 boxed wheelchairs, shipped in a container from China to Winslow, Ariz. The wheelchairs were sorted by location and included in the 15 separate food run distributions during October.

Phoenix Rotary 100 Rotarians joined the distribution at the Big Mountain Reservation in Black Mesa, Ariz., on Oct. 11. The chairs were unpacked, assembled and presented with a joyous reception by the elders.

This project is a prime example of the power of individual Rotarians—to perceive a need and utilize the rotary organization to help to provide a solution. For more information about the Phoenix Rotary 100 club, visit


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