Action Trackchairs donated to veterans
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Several disabled veterans received a device that will greatly improve their mobility through rough terrain Tuesday afternoon.
Kurt Guttstall, CEO of Quality Restaurant Concepts, LLC, a company that owns and operates about 60 Applebees restaurants in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky, traveled to Picayune to provide four Action Trackchairs to four veterans who could use them most.
Each of the devices cost about $15,000 and were paid for via funds raised through the sale of brownie bites at the 60 locations.
Guttstall said the company has been providing the chairs to deserving veterans for the past five years. He said the program was built upon preexisting efforts of the company to help veterans which include free meals on Veterans Day, and sending care packages to soldiers stationed overseas.
With these track powered chairs, the operator can traverse nearly any terrain that a typical wheelchair can not.
Each recipient was given the option to outfit their Trackchair to suit their needs along with a custom paint job.
Alaina Broome of Jackson, outfitted hers with a tool box so she could carry all of her gardening tools at once while working outside. She also plans to use the chair to help her care for her new puppy. Her chair has a unique purple and black color scheme.
Donald Blackwell of South Haven, Miss., said he plans to use his chair, complete with a camouflage paint job, to see his friend’s new property, which is large and features a lake. Blackwell added a mount for a firearm to his chair because he plans to do a little hunting. He chose to have the tracks on his chair built closer together so he can use it in more confined spaces and easily load it in his van.
Tony Bunkston of Perskinston said he also plans to do some hunting and some fishing with his Trackchair.
The fourth recipient was unable to make it to the restaurant on Tuesday, Guttstall said.
Damon Wood, owner of Disabilities in Action, a dealer of the Trackchair in South Mississippi, said it takes about four to six weeks to custom-build each chair. Each chair is built in Minnesota by family-owned Action Trackchair.
After receiving their chairs, the recipients were invited get out of the heat and enjoy a free meal.