Paralyzed Marine Veteran Jack Pierce Wins Mobility Conquest Wheelchair Motorcycle at Sturgis Rally
Afghanistan War Veteran Injured by IED Wins Special Wheelchair Accessible Motorcycle
Akron, OH (PRWEB) August 16, 2011
In a month-long essay contest titled “ËœNominate Your Hero’, one paraplegic individual was to be named the winner of a $50,000 wheelchair accessible trike at the 71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, SD. The contest drew 59 nominations from all parts of the country. The winner, Marine Staff Sergeant Jack Pierce of San Antonio, TX was announced at midnight on Saturday, August 13th at One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon.
A large crowd of bikers and supporters were on hand to witness the event and cheer for the disabled veteran as Bill Koeblitz, President and CEO of MobilityWorks announced the winner. Sergeant Pierce was in attendance after being told he was a finalist this past Friday. Two other paraplegic riders that rode in together on Conquests from Chicago were in the crowd, in addition to other disabled attendees in wheelchairs.
“We reached out to spinal cord injury groups, motorcycle clubs and other non-profit organizations to take part in nominating a deserving individual to win the bike. We know we found a real hero in Jack Pierce,” said Bill Koeblitz, President and CEO of MobilityWorks.
Jack Pierce was injured on the 9th of January 2010 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan while doing humanitarian work in the area. His vehicle was hit by an estimated two hundred pound IED. The bomb was command detonated, which meant the Taliban were specifically targeting his six-vehicle convoy. There were eight people in his vehicle, three crew and five passengers. Two didn’t survive the blast: BBC reporter Rupert J. Hamer and Armory Technician Mark A. Juarez were killed in the attack. All six others were all severely injured, including Pierce who was permanently paralyzed from the rib cage down.
“It was a very hard decision because there were so many deserving people doing really extraordinary things to help other people in wheelchairs. They were all heroes and I wish we could have given 50 Conquests away,” added Koeblitz. In addition to the Conquest, Mr. Pierce also won a specially made Colours Wheelchair, known for producing lightweight specialty chairs for active lifestyles.
The Conquest is the only production motorcycle built specifically for paraplegic riders in the world. MobilityWorks is the parent company of Mobility Conquest and builds the trikes at their Akron, Ohio manufacturing facility. “Æ’
MobilityWorks is the largest U.S. retailer of wheelchair vans and handicap driving equipment serving the disabled community. Headquartered in Akron Ohio, they have showroom and 14 service locations in seven states and a Commercial Manufacturing division. The Inc 5000 company is also the largest installer of wheelchair lifts in the country, converting handicap accessible full-size vans for businesses and health-providers that transport wheelchair passengers. For additional information, go to http://www.mobilityworks.com.
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