Drive For Independence Holiday Bazaar and Calendars

We are announcing some of our upcoming fundraisers. We’ve created the calendar and our Holiday Bazaar is Saturday Nov. 21st.

Calendars are ready! They are $12.00 a piece. They are a standard 12-month wall calendar size, 11″×17″. The calendars feature winners of our first 2 Upshift Summer Bash car shows. We have a PayPal link below to order.(there is a shipping charge if we need to ship).  When you go to order you will have to input $12.00 for each calendar you want (ex 1 calendar would be $12, 2 calendars would be $24 etc.) If you need a shipping quote or have questions please use the contact form to get in touch with us before ordering. You can also order by sending a check or money order made out to Heather Sloat or Chris Sauerbaum with a note stating Drive for Independence Calendar. Send the check/money order to Drive For Independence, PO Box 20752 York PA 17402. Orders and money due by Thursday, November 5th, 2015.

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We will be holding our Holiday Bazaar Saturday November 21st, 2015 10am-4pm at the Agape Professional Center, 907 Roosevelt Ave, York PA 17404. We are looking for vendors, including a few food vendors. We are planning to have a Santa with a photographer. We are also looking for volunteers to help with a gift wrapping station. If you can give an hour or 2 of your time to help in the gift wrapping station, please let us know. Please contact us via driveforindependence@gmail.com or our Drive For Independence Face Book Page.

We would also like to help out our friends at ABLE-Services ( part of the Leg Up Farm Family) by collecting needed supplies for their program for Christmas. We will have a box at the bazaar for donations and if you have a business where you would like to place a box to collect items please contact us. here is a list of the types of items they are looking for. This is their Amazon wish list but items do not need to be purchased from Amazon and similar items may be purchased. Games, Art kits, and fitness items are favorites of Able-Services participants.
Able Services Wish List

More information about the Holiday Bazaar can be found here:Drive For Independence Holiday Bazaar

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York City man’s dream of driving comes true with specialized truck

By GREG GROSS

With the press of a button on the key fob, the driver’s side and rear doors of Chris Sauerbaum’s pearly white GMC extended-cab pickup truck popped open and began to move outward.

About a minute later, the door was in position — about four feet from the truck body — and the wheelchair lift was on the ground. Sauerbaum, 33, of York City, maneuvered himself into position for the ride into the driver’s compartment.

Another minute or so later, Sauerbaum, who has a physical disability resulting from chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy, was in position behind the steering wheel, joysticks in hand and ready to roll.

Chris Sauerbaum of York City demonstrates the door lift on his custom GMC pickup truck at Cousler Park Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Sauerbaum, who suffers

Chris Sauerbaum of York City demonstrates the door lift on his custom GMC pickup truck at Cousler Park Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Sauerbaum, who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, has no legs and had the truck outfitted so he could operate it. Bill Kalina – bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

The truck, especially when the doors open, is a head-turner.

“You might as well be driving a Lamborghini,” Sauerbaum said.

But driving anything is what makes him happy. It’s something he’s wanted to do for more than a decade.

Driver: The journey to getting Sauerbaum behind the wheel of his own car started 11 years ago. The process has cost thousands of dollars and borne numerous setbacks.

He originally bought a Chrysler PT Cruiser with hopes of converting it to work with his disabilities. But it couldn’t be outfitted with the needed joystick controls.

Finally in 2013, Sauerbaum and wife Heather Sloat started an appeal for donations to raise money for a down payment on the pickup truck.

They raised the needed $10,000, including a $2,500 donation from Oletowne Jewelers, 2157 White St. in West Manchester Township, and made the down payment on the GMC Sierra pickup a few months ago.

The truck was then sent off to undergo a $91,000 conversion, which was covered by the state Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the family of four finally took delivery of it about three weeks ago.

Chris Sauerbaum of York City demonstrates the capabilities of his custom GMC pickup truck at Cousler Park Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Sauerbaum, who suffers

Chris Sauerbaum of York City demonstrates the capabilities of his custom GMC pickup truck at Cousler Park Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Sauerbaum, who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, has no legs and had the truck outfitted so he could operate it. Bill Kalina – bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

“Think of it as a big (remote controlled) car. An 8,000 pound R/C car,” Sauerbaum said of the added electronics that allow him to operate the truck.

The pickup features two joysticks in the driver’s compartment. One allows him to feed the engine gas and to brake, and the other controls steering.

It took Sauerbaum a week and a half of training to get ready for the road.

Easier life: Driving not only gives Sauerbaum the freedom of the road but also frees up Sloat’s day.

In the past, she’d have to drive him to work, racking up 80 miles on the odometer each day, she said.

Now that Sauerbaum has his truck, he and Sloat want to help others in similar situations get behind the wheel.

They are working to gain 501(c)(3) status for Drive for Independence, a nonprofit organization they are starting to help people with disabilities navigate the process of getting a converted car that meets their needs.

“It’s just one piece of the puzzle to get people to work,” Sloat said.

The truck also met with approval during a recent car show in Mountville, Lancaster County. It took home first place in the street truck/SUV class at the Turn Up the Pink Car Show, Sloat said.

Sauerbaum and Sloat’s two 6-year-old boys, Tucker and Harley Sauerbaum, were anxiously awaiting their ride in the truck. But first, they needed new car seats.

Harley wasn’t always so keen on the truck.

Sloat and Sauerbaum showed the boys a video of Sauerbaum testing out a similar truck. As the doors slid open and Sauerbaum prepared to get in, Harley got a horrified look on his face and started crying.

“Harley said, ‘Why is that Transformer eating Daddy?'” Sloat said.

For more information about Drive for Independence, visit http://www.driveforindependence.wordpress.com.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.

 

York Dispatch Article