RICE LAKE, Wis. – A 15-year-old 4-H member who asked for online help to purchase a special wheel chair, glided into the show ring at the Barron County Fair this week for sheep judging.
No getting stuck in the wood chips anymore.
“Moving nice,” his mother said from outside the ring. “This chair moves so much nicer than the other chair.”
Brandon Skinner’s old chair had small wheels and low clearance. At last year’s fair he got stuck in the sawdust.
Last month, with the fair again approaching, Brandon launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to raise $20,000 to buy a tracked wheelchair and trailer.
About $4500 had been raised when Brandon’s story aired on KARE 11. Within a few hours he had exceeded his goal.
“It was very quick, I know that,” said Brandon, smiling in his new chair.
“He was floored, absolutely floored,” said Lisa Skinner, Brandon’s mother.
Action Trackchair, the wheelchair’s manufacturer, sent Brandon a loaner after it became clear his chair wouldn’t be delivered in time for the fair. He received it two days before the fair’s opening day.
The tracked chair, for the first time, allows Brandon to stand up if he chooses – something his cerebral palsy has always prevented.
“It feels absolutely good to be able to stand,” said Brandon, surveying the sheep barn from an upright position. “I can see a lot more stuff.”
Donations actually exceeded Brandon’s goal. He plans to pass along the extra money to SHOT FOR HOPE, and Steve our camera guy went to Compasso Ranch in Talpa, TX in NovemberShot for Hope, a non-profit organization that provided Brandon with a Texas hunting trip two years ago.
Asked if he had anything to say to the people who donated the money for his chair, Brandon smiled broadly. “Thank you, a huge thank you,” he said.