CHAPMANS MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Story and photos courtesy of Tom Leogrande
Lake Quivira, KS - In a strange turn of events, the Chapmans met Matthew Kluender in Lacrosse,Wisconsin at the recent Mississippi River Rumble Elite Series event. Kluender had begun his journey west to California on a quest he calls the Handi-ABLE Project. He and his uncle, Don, had started their quest across the country by wheelchair in an effort to raise awareness and prove that people with handicaps can dowhatever they set their minds to, with a little hard work. Matt wants to inspire those with disabilities to change their mindset from handicapped tohandi-ABLED.
Due to transportation rules, Kluender and his uncle must make their journey through main thoroughfares rather than interstate highways. They are followed by a maroon van and trailer, which carries their supplies and ensures their safety on the road. They love to talk with people along the way. A sign on their trailer reads, Wish us Luck, Give us a Buck, Sign our Truck. Judging by the amount of signatures covering the trailer, its clear that their project has been very successful so far.
Two weeks later, the Chapmans again crossed paths with Matt, this time on their way home from the Elite Series tournament in Green Bay. After having heard a sermon aboutcoincidences and helping your fellow man, the couple unexpectedly stumbled upon an accident. As they got closer they realized it was Matt and Don and that their van had been rear-ended by an SUV. Although everyone is fine, their trailer had been totaled, destroying many of their supplies and essentiallyending their quest to reach California.
Bobbi Chapman talked about the turn of event, "What's really interesting is just before we left for Wisconsin we listened to a sermon at our church about god putting us in front of people for a purpose. That purpose might be to help them, it could be something as simple as a welcoming hug, a handshake, encouragement or a few dollars. We were out working on the boat at the campground, very busy and didnt really have much time to talk with people. When Matt and Don came up to talk to us we stopped to talk. We talked for about 45 minutes and found their mission inspiring. Brent and I went over and saw their setup and signed theirvan. Little did we know what would happen just a couple weeks later."
At this point, The Handi-ABLE Project is unable to proceed and Matt and Don will have to return to Wisconsin. Brent and Bobbi Chapman would like to ask anyone who is able to please help this inspirational project continue. If you are interested in donating to this cause, please visit http://handi-able.com/. There is a link to donate via Paypal at the top left corner of the website. All donations are greatly appreciated.