Charities A Superstar
Francis took a pass from Nick Van Exel on the wing and drove
past Stephon Marbury for a thunderous highflying one-handed
dunk. The Crowd at Madison Square Garden erupted with applause.
Although all three players are superstars from different teams,
this was not an NBA All-Star game. In fact, this contest took
place in early September during the league’s off-season. This
game wasn’t about a final score or even bragging rights for
the winner. The event is an annual classic played for Wheelchair
Charities Inc. to raise money for patients to have more comfortable
lives at Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island.
is about helping out a needy cause,” said Van Exel, a 10-year
veteran, recently traded to the Golden State Warriors. “Maybe
those people in those wheelchairs could have been where we
are today, so we are in a position to help. We should just
be thankful ourselves.”
Charities Inc. began in 1973 when it raised roughly $4,000.
Today, more than 30 years later the organization brings in
over $1,000,000 annually. It’s no secret that success stems
from leadership at the top. From its inception there has been
only one man at the helm of Wheelchair Charities Inc.: Hank
Carter, has been on a mission to help people ever since his
best friend was left paralyzed from the waist down after being
struck by a stray bullet on a New York City street.
bodies may be broken down,” said Carter, 60, “but their minds
are not. All we want to do is make everything better for them
because God gave us so much.”
is Carter who has given so much to Coler-Goldwater, a 2,016
bed Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility for patients with
varying medical conditions that is part of the city’s Health
and Hospitals Corp. Carter, a recent retiree from the Long
Island Savings Bank, where he worked his way up from a teller
to a senior executive vice president, has donated more than
$10 million worth of equipment to the hospital. It is hard
to find a spot in the hospital where Wheelchair Charity Inc.’s
work is not visible. From a greenhouse for patients to soak
in some nature to motorized wheelchairs, along with computers,
an exercise room, communication equipment, and even buses,
they have indeed improved the quality of people’s lives.
has provided us with the tools to better enhance our residence
into the real world of work and technology,” said Jenny Rosario,
head of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Department, “Hank
is just very dedicated to giving. You don’t hear about too
many individuals who do this for an organization.”
wheelchairs alone can cost up to $36,000, the charismatic Carter
organizes a benefit dinner annually, which he says is his major
moneymaker. Each year the corporate sponsored dinner is filled
with some of the biggest names in sports. Last year’s event
included such luminaries as Warren Sapp from the Super Bowl
champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and basketball superstar Gary
Patton from the Los Angeles Lakers, among others.
Charities Inc. is a lifestyle for Hank. It’s a 24-hour existence.
Day or night he’s either talking to someone about his beloved
organization or making plans for the next event. He goes to
the hospital daily to just say hello to his many friends. “You
see people smiling,” said Hank, “and then you say, ‘thank you
God for putting us in a position that we can do that.’”#
Cohen is the Director of Throw Back Sports, a program for
children of all abilities.
Update, Inc., P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10159.
Tel: (212) 477-5600. Fax: (212) 477-5893. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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