By Meg Hibbert, Contributing Writer
Members of the Knights of Columbus have donated 90 new wheelchairs for veterans at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Virginia Veterans Center in Salem, and for residents of Hopetree Family Services.
Knights of Columbus leaders raised money for the chairs through donations from members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Salem, businesses and people in the community, Grand Knight David W. Wyble said.
He and other K of C officials made the presentation in the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center Auditorium on Aug. 15. Each wheelchair costs $150.
Initially the Knights of Columbus intended to donate 50 wheelchairs, Wyble said, but with additional funds from the K of C Council was able to provide 90 chairs.
Father Kevin Segerblom, Episcopal Vicar for the Western Vicariate of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and pastor of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Roanoke, blessed the chairs during the ceremony Monday.
Rebecca Stackhouse, executive director of the Salem VA Medical Center, expressed thanks for the wheelchairs, and presented a plaque to K of C representatives.
In turn, K of C District Governor Pat Roland gave her and Wyble a specially designed commemorative coin with the inscription “Serving God by Serving Others.”
Wyble explained money for the wheelchairs came from a variety of sources, including several other K of C Councils in addition to the Salem Council, the Salem Rotary Club and even a GoFundMe internet fundraising campaign Wyble set up.