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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / MOORPARK

Kiwanis Gives College Scooter for Disabled

October 28, 1998|ANDY SAMUELSON

A new three-wheeled electric scooter, designed to make life easier for disabled students, has arrived at Moorpark College.

The Moorpark Kiwanis Club raised about $3,000 toward the purchase of the scooter and donated it to the college's Disabled Student Program, whose own motorized wheelchair broke down last year.

"We are here to provide services that allow disabled students to compete equally with non-disabled students," said Jan Andriese, the coordinator of the college's Disabled Student Center.

The scooter is easy to get in and out of and adjusts to different-sized people, she said.

Of about 12,500 students at Moorpark College, 800 are disabled and a dozen need a wheelchair, Andriese said.

While most students who need a motorized wheelchair have their own, the scooter will be available to them in case of a breakdown or may be used by a student who suffers a temporary injury, Andriese said.

In the past, the Moorpark Kiwanis Club has raised funds for the Disabled Student Program to purchase books in Braille and computer equipment.

Kiwanian Mike Wesner said the club learned the school didn't have a wheelchair after a fellow club member broke her leg while taking classes at the college.

After a discussion with Andriese, members began a fund-raising drive to purchase the scooter, Wesner said. They started with a tailgate party at a Moorpark College football game last year and ended with a "murder mystery" event last month.

Wesner, who is also the president of the college's fund-raising arm, said the experience was rewarding.

"On the day we brought it to the college, a young man on crutches came in and took off with it," Wesner said. "That's what we do: make a difference by filling in the gaps."

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