Paramobile units hit the fairways

July 22, 2019 05:34 PM

MECHANICVILLE – Golfers with disabilities showed just how able they are at Fairways of Halfmoon. That includes Mark Boucher, who has been in a wheelchair since he was 30-years old battling multiple sclerosis, three forms of cancer, a stroke and brain aneurism.

"I was once a six-handicap golfer, now I'm just a handicapped golfer," Boucher said. 'We can do things."

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Players in specially-designed golf carts, the paramobile, gathered for the Capital District's Chapter of Stand Up and Play.

"I hit a low and you have to hit a low before you bounce back up right?" said Anthony Netto. 'If you don't hit the ground you can't bounce back up. I was lucky, I had people to catch me as I was falling."

The foundation was formed by Netto, originally from South Africa. Its mission is to give wheelchair users the chance to stand up again and look someone in the eye. More than 5.6 million Americans are living with a form of paralysis.

"And belly up to the bar and see the bartender eye-to-eye and order and iced tea," Boucher joked.

Each chair costs $31,000 and the goal is to get 700 chairs across the country, putting at least one at each public golf course. So far, Stand Up and Play has half a dozen satellite chapters.

The 18-hole scramble also featured disabled veterans and had skydivers deliver the American flag before the first ball was struck.

The Capital District chapter serves nearly 50 individuals, including several military veterans, first responders, and neighbors in need with Paramobile units. SEFCU is supporting Stand Up and Play through the purchase of three Paramobile units.


WNYT Staff

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