Friends want to purchase new wheelchair for local man

WEST CHAZY - The friends of a North Country man are coming together, hoping to help make his life a little easier.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1466 on Spellman Road in Beekmantown will host a spaghetti dinner benefit Saturday, March 21, to raise money for a new manual wheelchair for Alan Brault.

According to his friend, Larry A. Guynup, the man organizing the benefit, Brault was in a motorcycle accident nearly 20 years ago. The accident left Brault partially-paralyzed, requiring him to use a wheelchair for his mobility. The wheelchair he uses today has lasted him many years, said Guynup, but is now in need of replacement.

"He's been piecing it together and fixing it for a while now," said Guynup. "We decided as a bunch of his friends to get together and raise some money so he could get a new one."

It's Guynup's hope that enough money can be raised to purchase not only a newer wheelchair, but one that's also more lightweight. The lighter wheelchair will be easier for Brault to load and unload from his specially-outfitted vehicle, so he many continue to drive and be independent, said Guynup.

An estimate Guynup received from Yankee Medical of Burlington, Vt., states the new wheelchair will cost approximately $3,000, he said. That amount is something he feels can be raised given the generosity he has already seen when asking for donations for the benefit.

"The support's been pretty good," said Guynup. "We've probably got about 35 businesses who've donated things we're going to auction off and raffle."

The March 21 benefit will be held from 12-6 p.m., kicking off with a spaghetti dinner cooked by Guynup's wife, Linda, and a band of volunteers. The cost for the dinner will be $8 per person.

In addition to the auction and raffles that will be held, door prizes will be awarded. Entertainment will be provided by local bands "Black Brook" and "The Jay Walken Band."

Those who would like more information or who are unable to attend the benefit and would like to make a donation may contact Guynup at 572-3123.

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